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Plant identification: Blue flowered perennial

CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
edited July 2021 in Plants
I visited a friend's house in April/May and toured her garden. I fell in love with Brunnera, which was in full flower at the time, and she gave me a cutting, which has taken. Next to it was another clump-forming plant with very large and plain dark green leaves, pointed oval and about 15 to 20 cm long. It had a mass of blue bottlebrush-style flowers on thin stalks. I also took a cutting of this, which has really taken off, and I am keen to plant it in my garden, but before I decide where to put it, I'd like to find out whether it prefers sun or shade. It's a perennial and I don't imagine it is rare or unusual, but I haven't seen it elsewhere and would like to know what it is. My friend doesn't know as the plant was there when she bought her house. Thanks for any help.
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  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    edited July 2021

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    The only thing I can think of is Persicaria bistorta but that has pink flowers.


    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    No, I think that's it, and my memory has played me a little false - the flowers are pinky lilac on the photos I've just looked at, and they may have merged into blue along with the Brunnera in my memory. Thanks very much!
  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    The only thing I can think of is Persicaria bistorta but that has pink flowers.


    This is a bit of a brutal takedown of it: https://www.ballyrobertgardens.com/products/persicaria-bistorta-superba
    I can only presume it is intended to be sarcastic. Interesting sales pitch, for sure. It definitely is the same plant, except that it says here that it flowers in July - October, and it was April/May when I saw it in full flower. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,016
    Many do consider it vulgar but it's also very lovely when planted en masse and with other things around it to hide its foliage from view.  April/May is very early tho.  Mine are only just getting going now.

    There are may forms of persicaria - some with interesting variegated leaves that do better in some shade, some with deep red, finer and more pointy flower spikes and one which is a good ground cover for front of border or awkward spots.  It is much shorter and has flowers that fade from pink to deep red and then coppery brown as they age and the foliage often persists and turns red in winter.  There is also a weed form known as red shanks which is to be avoided at all costs.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Results?query=Persicaria 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    Obelixx said:
    Many do consider it vulgar but it's also very lovely when planted en masse and with other things around it to hide its foliage from view.  April/May is very early tho.  Mine are only just getting going now.

    There are may forms of persicaria - some with interesting variegated leaves that do better in some shade, some with deep red, finer and more pointy flower spikes and one which is a good ground cover for front of border or awkward spots.  It is much shorter and has flowers that fade from pink to deep red and then coppery brown as they age and the foliage often persists and turns red in winter.  There is also a weed form known as red shanks which is to be avoided at all costs.

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Results?query=Persicaria 
    Thank you - I certainly aim to avoid weeds wherever possible. I am tossing up where to plant it. I could do a more sunny border or a shade border where there are trees. It says moist soil, and although this will sound stupid, I am not really sure how moist the soil is. I have just this year hacked down a major jungle with a lot of thick ground cover, and I don't know whether this indicates that the soil is moist enough to support plenty of greenery, or whether the dense foliage kept the rain (which is very plentiful here in Manchester!) from reaching the soil. What do you think?
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,537
    I have a plant called Kittentails, (Synthyris missourica) which is  as cute as its name. 
    It has plain green leaves and blue spiky flowers in spring, but it is only about 20 cm tall, so wouldn't fit your criteria. Later in the year, one of the Veronicas might fit the bill if your wish to achieve your mis-remembered vision, my Brunneras go on flowering for quite a long time :)

  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    I have a plant called Kittentails, (Synthyris missourica) which is  as cute as its name. 
    It has plain green leaves and blue spiky flowers in spring, but it is only about 20 cm tall, so wouldn't fit your criteria. Later in the year, one of the Veronicas might fit the bill if your wish to achieve your mis-remembered vision, my Brunneras go on flowering for quite a long time :)

    Well, that is very lovely also. I have a gorgeous Veronica which looks great. I intend to get some more of those. Deeply impressed by your Brunnera flowering for a long time. I hope my newly acquired ones do the same when they've bedded in.
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,714
    The only thing I can think of is Persicaria bistorta but that has pink flowers.


    Leaves are a good match.
    Persicaria bistort superba.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • CostumedVoleCostumedVole Posts: 257
    Yes, that's definitely it, and more proof that my senior moments are drifting into senior hours. It was definitely blue in my mind, but what do I know? Clearly nothing. So, sunny or partial shade? Which does it like better?
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