Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blue mistflower: one of my favorites

Eupatorium coelestinum, blue mistflower, oh how I love you. You are unassuming, don’t ask for much, and yet you bloom for months on end. Your assertive nature is endearing and your lavender blue flowers look great with everything!

This plant is truly one of my favorite native perennials. When you see it in action on a hot August afternoon, it’s easy to understand why. This plant flourishes at a time of year when many perennials start to look weary.

In his revised ‘Garden Perennials’ Allan Armitage calls this Eupatorium “A terrific weed, much more tolerant of heat than most other members of the genus.” This cousin of the well-known Joe-Pye Weed grows about 2' tall and blooms summer through fall.

A word of warning, this plant is assertive (not aggressive). I’ve seen it spread by runners as well as by seed; new plants will pop up across gardens and driveways alike. While easy to weed, this is something to consider before planting.

Blue mistflower is a terrific bedding plant and does well in containers too. It is the perfect compliment to Sedona Coleus, Verbena bonariensis, and Sweet potato vine as shown in the above image. And if you can’t find any to purchase, I have some to share!

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