The particular plant taking the name of Venus’s navelwort is 0. linifolia and it has silver foliage with flowers not unlike myosotis (forget-me-not) but white. They appear from June onwards. It is a hardy annual growing to about io in. Seeds may be sown in April or autumn on light, well-drained soils as this ensures sturdier specimens. This species is excellent for cutting. 0. verna or Blue-Eyed Mary is a perennial of trailing habit with blue flowers in late spring. It does well in a shady position and is easily increased by division in spring or autumn. A white form is available. 0. luciliae is a plant of incomparable beauty which reaches 6 in. with lavender-blue flowers and greyish leaves. It blooms in summer and does best in a sunny, well-drained position on the rockery, appreciating some lime in the soil. Slugs are very fond of this species and a metaldehyde preparation should be used freely to keep them at bay. Increase by division in spring.

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