A perennial, usually treated as an annual, from
S. W. China, and a most charming plant to grow.
From a basal rosette of lance-shaped and oblong
leaves rise sturdy stems two feet high, bearing
elegantly branched racemes of flowers, about a
quarter of an inch across, of a most exquisite,
soft azure blue.
There is also a garden variety, under the name
of Firmament, of a more compact habit with flowers
of deeper blue. In fact, like glorified Forget-me-nots,
these plants lend themselves to effective use
in herbaceous borders, where they should be planted
near to yellow Geums, pale
pink Sidalceas or the brightly coloured forms
of Alstromeria ligtu,
where they find their ideal foil.
The seed may be sown in frames in March and the
seedlings planted out where they are to flower.
Or, if preferred, the seed may be sown in May
where the plants are to bloom, choosing a sunny
spot and a soil that is well drained.
Propagation is from seed.
The flowering season is from June to early September.