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Anchusa Italica - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Anchusa Italica (Flower Spray) - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Anchusa Italica Described.

Anchusa Italica - Italian Alkanet; Nat. Ord. Boraginaceæ.

A hardy herbaceous perennial of first-class merit for gardens where there is plenty of room; amongst shrubs it will not only prove worthy of the situation, but, being a ceaseless bloomer, its tall and leafy stems decked with brilliant flowers may always be relied upon for cutting purposes; and let me add, as, perhaps, many have never tried this fine but common flower in a large vase, the stems, if cut to the length of 18in., and loosely placed in an old-fashioned vase, without any other flowers, are more than ornamental - they are fine.

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Anchusa Italica

Its main features are seen in its bold leafy stems, furnished with large, dark blue, forget-me-not-like flowers, nearly all their length. The little white eyes of the blossoms are very telling. The flowers are held well out from the large leaves of the main stem by smaller ones (from 1in. to 8in. long), at the ends of which the buds and flowers are clustered, backed by a pair of small leaflets, like wings. Just before the buds open they are of a bright rose colour, and when the flowers fade the leafy calyx completely hides the withered parts, and other blooms take their places between the wing-like pair of leaflets; so the succession of bloom is kept up through the whole summer. The leaves of the root are very large when fully grown during summer—over a foot long—those of the stems are much less; all are lance-shaped and pointed, plain at the edges, very hairy, and of a dark green colour. The stems are numerous, upright, and, as before hinted, branched; also, like the leaves, they are covered with stiff hairs, a characteristic common to the order. Well-established plants will grow to the height of 3ft. to 5ft.

Flowering period, May to September.

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