The Q&A Archives: Plant Identity CA & NC

Question: I need to know the name of a plant that I have seen in both CA and NC. It has long slender spikes(about 24-30 inches long) with small,light bluish purple flowers all up and down the spike. It probably begins to bloom in June. Can you help. It is not a sage.

Answer: Based on the information in your description it is a bit difficult to make a guess, especially without knowing if this is a cultivated flower or growing wild, or what type of conditions it grows in (eg sun or shade, wet or dry) or what type of foliage it has. However, Camassia is a possibility. Another possibility is one of the ornamental salvias -- some look quite different from garden sage -- or perhaps a tall form of veronica which has more of a spike. Lavender is another possibility. Perhaps the best match I can think of is Lupine since it is upright and has blooms all around and up and down the stem. I hope it is one of these.

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