Few perennials can match the vivid blue of Anchusa in full bloom, but the straggly, branching flower-need staking and the plants are short-lived. For maximum and longevity, plant in the spring and put a mulch around the in May. Dead-head faded blooms and at the end of the flowering season cut the stems down to ground level. A fine plant for the middle or back of the border – the large, rough are described in one of its common names – Ox Tongue. Its one major hate is waterlogged soil.
VARIETIES: The favourite variety of A. azurea (A. italica) is ‘Loddon Royalist’. Itbetween June and August and like all Anchusas should be planted about 1.5 ft apart. The average height is 3 ft – ‘Royal Blue’ reaches the same height. You can go higher or lower. ‘Opal’ (pale blue) reaches 4 ft and both the white-eyed ‘Morning Glory’ and the deep blue ‘Dropmore’ grow 5 ft high. At the other end of the scale ‘Little John’ grows only 1.25 ft tall.
SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.
PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in March or takein winter.