Sandwiched between such well-known rockery plants as Campanula and Dianthus in this A-Z guide is the little-known Cyananthus. It is a low-growing, blue-flowering alpine closely related to Campanula, although it usually bears funnel-shaped blooms rather than bells or stars. Cyananthus is well worth growing if you have a moist but free-draining spot to fill with a compact plant.

VARIETIES: The best species to pick is C. microphyllus, as it is the one most likely to survive the winter. Basic details are height 3 in., spread 1 ft.

Flowering period: August-September – the pale purple flowers are about 1 in. across. C. lobatus is another prostrate species with erect funnel-shaped flowers but the colour is bright blue and the petals are wider.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained, humus-rich soil – thrives in sun or light shade.

PROPAGATION: Sow seeds under glass in spring or plant basal cuttings in a cold frame in late spring.

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