Anchusa – Alkanet, Italian Borage, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Perennial Flower Information

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Italian Borage,

Summer Forget-me-not,
Sea Bugloss

One of
the colors which all amateur gardeners wish is a good,
strong blue, one which does not fade easily but which
holds its own. Anchusas when planted in large masses,
appear as a misty sea of deep blue when in bloom. Although
possessing nothing to recommend it as a cut flower,
it is a tall growing blue perennial that is deserving
of a place in every garden. The plants of Anchusa italica,
Dropmore Variety, which is the commonest one grown,
attains a height of 3 feet to 5 feet, and blooms during
June and July. The leaves are very large, heavy and
hairy. The flowering branches are sent out in all directions
from the plant and bear large, loose clusters of giant
Forget-me-nots of soft turquoise blue. Many have a white
eye. The Opal variety is light pinkish blue. The blooming
season can be easily lengthened by cutting down the
taller sprays when the flowers begin to fade. This will
cause smaller spikes to appear which will continue blooming
through September. They are of such beauty and are so
attractive in early Spring when so few blue flowers
are in sight, that they have proven very popular. The
bees also delight in visiting them.

Anchusas have proven an invaluable plant for the border,
and are used in woodlands to a certain extent. A. myosotidiflora
is a dwarf variety bearing small flowers and is used
effectively in rock gardens, especially in shady nook,
where it blooms all Summer.

Any good garden soil, plenty of sunshine, and a well
drained situation suit them. Most of the plants become
fully established during the second or third year. They
are moisture-loving plants and should be given copious
soakings of water during dry spells. The plants should
be staked during the flowering season.

Seeds and division of the plant. Anchusas selfsow very
readily. The roots are very juicy and brittle so that
when the plants are dug, they are frequently broken.
Each root allowed to remain in the soil will produce
a new plant.

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