Pigs, it seems, are fond of digging up and eating the roots – hence the common name. Gardeners are less fond of this rockery perennial, although you should be able to find one or two types at a large garden centre. Its leaves are broadly grassy and its flowers star-shaped, appearing over a long period.

VARIETIES: The smallest species is S. brachypus – height 6 in., spread 6 in.

Flowering period: June-October. Yellow blooms appear in succession on the flowering stems. A well-known species is the taller S. angustifolium (Blue-eyed Grass) – height 1 ft. spread 9 in.

Flowering period: May-October. S. ber-mudianum is very similar and it is not easy to tell them apart. Both bear blue flowers – look for the yellow eye in the bloom of S. bermudianum. S. grandiflorum is a narrow, upright plant, bearing large, bell-shaped purple flowers in March and April.

SITE AND SOIL: Requires well-drained, humus-rich soil in a sunny spot.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in spring or autumn.

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