A genus for the connoisseur – dainty bell-likedeeply fringed at the margins, drooping gracefully from the top of the upright flower stalks. -blue is the usual colour but variations are known. They are not plants which can be left to look after themselves – most types require some form of protection against winter rains. Slugs can be a problem by devouring the flower buds – scatter Slug Pellets around the clumps in autumn and winter.
VARIETIES: S. alpina (height 3 in., spread 9 in.
Flowering period: March-April) bears all the features of the genus – rounded leatheryand pale purple, fringed bells which appear in spring. It is not an easy plant to grow outdoors – you will have more success with the larger S. montana (height 4 in., spread 1 ft) which bears 0.5 in. bells. The most floriferous and the easiest to grow is S.villosa (height 6 in., spread 1 ft). It flowers later than the others (April-May) and is far more robust.
SITE AND SOIL: Well-drained, moist soil in light shade is required.
PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in summer.