Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Plant of the Day: Cerinthe major

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’
Family: Boraginaceae
Common name: honeywort
Origin: southern Europe, Mediterranean
Zone: 8-10
Size: 2’
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: moist, well-drained humus rich soil

I recently received this photograph from an old schoolmate of mine who could not identify it. It took me a little while but I was finally able to identify it as Cerinthe major. This is a new plant to me so I thought I would pass on the information I found.

The plant has thick blue-green leaves with white moddling. Small clusters of 1”-long nodding purple flowers form late summer and attract bees and hummingbirds. The tall stems curve like that of a shrimp, thus it is referred to by some as “shrimp plant”.

Start seeds indoors before spring and transplant outdoors after frost. Many have recorded that this plant self sows quite easily.

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