Honeywort, Blue (Cerinthe major var purpurascens), packet of 10 seeds, organic
Family: Borage (Boraginaceae)
Generally grown as an annual, sometimes a short-lived perennial in zones 7-10
(Blue Shrimp Plant, Wax Flower, Pride of Gibralter) Self-seeding annual or short-lived perennial in the warmer zones. Most gardeners grow this as an annual and try to find some reprod in the spring garden to choose out new plants the following year. Even in cold winter areas, honeywort lasts well past the first frost–the bracts become more colorfully deep purple in the late season. Native to the Mediterranean basin, flowering blue to a height of 24 inches. A good filler plant in medicinal and flower gardens–it is bushy and the leaves are lush blue-green, ovate, clasping the stem, very close-spaced, giving forth showy blue flowers in the typical scorpioid inflorescence of the borage family. Highly attractive to bumblebees, honeybees and other long-tongued pollinators. Traditional use (TWM) small amounts of the flowers and leaves nibbled as a refreshing, cooling tonic, flowers and leaves used sparingly in salads and as a garnish. Prebiotic. The taste is neutral, the texture waxy and mucilaginous. Nontoxic. The leaves are smooth and inviting–not hairy like some other borage family members. The plant prefers sun to part shade and a rich, fertile soil of pH 6 to 7. Water requirement medium. Sow the seed in the early spring, either in-place in the garden, or indoors with standard greenhouse culture, starting 6 weeks before the last frost, worked up in pots and transplanted. Germination time 2 to 3 weeks. The seeds are large and easy, a good choice for kids. Space plants 2 feet apart or intersperse with some room for shouldering up.
10 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown