Annual woodruff Asperula orientalis

Height: 30cm (1ft)

Planting distance: 7.5-10cm (3-4in)

Features: flowers summer

Soil: ordinary, moist

Site: partial shade

Type: annual

Annual woodruff (Asperula orientalis, syn. A. azurea, A. setosa) is the only hardy annual in this genus of 200 species – all other woodruffs are treated as perennials .

Its pale blue flowers are strongly scented – unusual for annuals – and appear in mid summer, 30cm (1ft) above the ground. Its narrow, green, lance-shaped leaves are arranged in attractive whorls up the stem.

Un-like most annuals, it tolerates partial shade andlikes moist soil. The flowers are good for cutting.


Scatter seeds over the flowering site in mid spring, and rake them gently into the soil. When the seedlings are strong enough to handle, thin to 7.5-10cm (3-4in) apart.

Pests and diseases: Trouble free.

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