The Q&A Archives: Plant Name

Question: I just picked up a plant called Cerinthe major purpurascens. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything on it in the Sunset Western Garden Book nor the Horticultural Encyclopedia - it grows 12-18", has white motled fleshy leaves, blue bracts with blue tubular flowers and it likes sun. When I purchased it, this is all it had on the tag. Did not have a common name. Could you find out what it's common name is and anything else you might know about this beautiful plant.

Answer: Cerinthe is 'Honeywort', a member of the Boraginaceae family. It's an annual that grows 1' to 2' feet high. The flowers are spectacular and produce sweet-pea sized seeds that germinate readily when they fall from the plant in late summer or early fall. The seedlings will overwinter well and produce new plants in the spring. It's a popular plant in Austrailia and is just becoming recognized as a terrific plant here in the U.S.

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