Cerinthe Major Purpurescens

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Cerinthe Major Pupurascens – rich purple-blue nodding flowers contrast over deep blue-green bracts on long strong stems. Very unusual and makes a superb cut flower. Flowers from July in the first year and May onwards in subsequent years. A half hardy perennial, it is happy grown in containers which can be protected in very cold snaps.

Height to 60cm

Half hardy perennial; may need winter protection in colder areas

Price for 10 seeds

SOW: soaking your seeds overnight in tepid water helps the seedlings break out of their tough casings, in spring in pots or modules of seed compost, cover with 3-5mm vermiculite or perlite and keep at about 18°C.  Germination takes 1-2 weeks.  Cerinthe can be sown in the open in late spring once temperatures do not fall below 10°C (2-3 weeks germination), or you can sow in the autumn for flowers early in the following year. 

GROW:  when large enough to handle pot up and grow on until you can harden off and plant about 30-40cm apart.  Deadheading will prolong flowering.  Cerinthe dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring, any seedling can be potted up to move about your garden.

ENJOY: flowers from July in the first year and from May onwards in subsequent years (protect over the winter). Use for cutting, also loved by bees

DID YOU KNOW…this pollen/nectar rich plant is so loved by bees that in the past it was thought to be the main source of their honey – hence its old name ‘honeywort’.  It is loved by many pollinators and butterflies and will help attract them to your plot so it is a great choice to build and support biodiversity


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