The Q&A Archives: Botanical Name Of Tweedia

Question: I was given seeds to a small star-shaped light blue flower with silver leaves that is sold on the floral market as "Tweedia". I would like to know its botanical name, growing needs and care instructions. The stems when cut secrete a milky sap. The leaves are narrow, silver and are soft like lamb's ears. The flowers form in small clusters, 2 to 3 florets, on branch like stems. I've never seen this cut flower more than about 14" long. Please advise!

Answer: Tweedia is Oxypetalum caeruleum. It's a tender vining plant that grows to about 3 feet tall. The one-inch flowers grow along the trailing stems. In warm-winter areas it can be a perennial, but it's mostly grown as an annual. The plant thrives in full sun and moist, rich soil. To start your seeds indoors, wait until 6-8 weeks before your last frost, then sow the seeds on the top of moistened seed starting mix and barely press them in with your hand. Put plastic wrap over the pots or trays (to help retain moisture) and then place in a warm area, like on top of the refrigerator, or on propagating mats. The seeds are erratic to germinate, but should sprout in 30-90 days when kept at 75F degrees.

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