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Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (photo courtesy of Annie’s Annuals & Perennials)

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Zones 1-24
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Full, Partial
Regular Water
Moderate

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’

Honeywort
Boraginaceae
Annuals, Flowers

Rising above clumps of fleshy, blue-green leaves, the purplish blue upper leaves and flower bracts of honeywort are what first attract gardeners to this Mediterranean native. They make the top of this 2-ft.-tall plant look as if it’s been dipped in blue dye. Bloom period runs from spring to fall. This is easy to grow from seed and even self-sows without being invasive. In mild-winter climates, seedlings may appear in late summer and bloom the following spring, behaving like biennials or short-lived perennials. (The plain species, whose flowers have a 1-in.-long purple tube opening to a yellow interior, is rarely seen.)

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