Pimpernel, Blue-flowered (Anagallis linifolia), packet of 100 seeds
Family: Primula (Primulaceae)
Hardy to Zone 9 to 11, otherwise grown as an annual, 90 days to flowers.
(Cure-All, Poor-Man’s Weatherglass) Self-seeding perennial or annual growing to only 4 inches–a very prostrate herb with pretty blue flowers that smile forth in the sun and become shy when the clouds appear. Traditional usage (TWM): warts, external cleansing. Source of saponins. Plant prefers full sun and regular garden soil or will even grow in waste places. Sow in the fall and overwinter for an early spring show of flowers, or sow directly in the garden in the spring and thin to about 6 inches apart. The plant is best grown in-situ and is difficult to successfully transplant.
100 seeds/pkt, open pollinated, untreated, NO GMO’s
Allegra Chesnut –
This tough little perennial has become one of my favorites for attracting pollinators early in the spring. It blooms starting in March (Zone 10) and continues non-stop till November if fed a little kelp and bat guano from time to time. It’s the most brilliant blue I’ve ever seen in a flower and the plant literally covers itself in blooms. With its bright emerald-green leaves and royal blue flowers it’s one of the most dramatic plants in the garden. While it prefers all day sun I’ve had decent results growing it in spots that only get five hours of direct sun; it blooms a bit less heavily but since it’s so prolific the decrease isn’t that noticeable.
Very easy to grow; start indoors or out. It self-seeds readily in favorable environments but doesn’t root too deeply and is easily removed if it gets out of hand. The bumblebees lose their minds over these flowers and will ignore their usual favorites like borage to feast on blue pimpernel. If started indoors it’s best to use pillow-packs – small fiber starter pots. The instant you notice roots at the sides of the pot (these fiber pots are white and transparent enough to see the roots) pop it into decent (but not too rich) soil and stand back. But it also self-seeds readily and I find it cropping up all over the place. I love it. It softens the edges of raised beds, covers unsightly spots, and asks for very little in the way of food or water.
The plants spread considerably — at two years old the plants sprawl to 30 inches across and are a good ten inches high. Blue pimpernel has a way of insinuating itself into the lower branches of taller plants like lavender and white sage or flattening out to form a ground cover but the roots aren’t competitive. I grow it with white sage, lavender, helichrysum, thyme, and culinary sage and it seems to get along just fine with all of them, forming a beautiful blue and green carpet around these herbs. I also grow it at the base of my bougainvillea.
It’s versatile, beautiful, very hardy (as Mediterranean wildflowers usually are), and an outstanding pollinator magnet. It’s not as drought-tolerant as say, helichrysum or white sage, but if you mulch the ground around them (I use broken clay shards atop a layer of compost) they can get by with almost as little water as the other plants they grow with.
If your weather is too cold for it to live as a perennial, not a problem — it grows so fast and blooms so quickly that you can treat it as an annual and still get excellent results. This is a useful, beautiful, wonderful flower. I can’t recommend it too highly.
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What a wonderful review, thank you. I am always looking to add more to our property for our bees and the visitor bugs. Will be purchasing a packet.