It is rare in the plant world to see such an intense blue as this hardy perennial. Pretty five-petalled flowers (15mm across) with white centres are held on hairy green stems above rosettes of mid-green lanceolate eaves. As the flowers mature they gently fade from the characteristic vivid blue to blue/purple.
Anchusa azurea was extensively used by Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood, perhaps due to the location’s sandy, well-drained soil, and this variety shares that preference. The vigorous Anchusa belongs to the Borinaceae family (alongside Forget-me-nots and Viper’s Bugloss) and is a colourful way to draw native pollinators, especially bees, into your garden. Developed fifty years ago at the Lodden Nurseries in Berkshire, this variety won the RHS Garden Award.
In Crete the stems of Anchusa (agoglossos) are traditionally fried, steamed or boiled before being eaten, but maybe more appealingly, the tiny flower heads of the A. Azurea Lodden Royalist are edible and highly decorative when scattered on summer salads.
Pot size: 2L
Height and Spread: 90cm x 45cm
Preferred Soil Type: Light, well drained
Aspect: Full sun / partial shade
Flowering Period: May–July
Care: Cut back after flowering for second flush