HORTUS

Didiscus caerulea

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Not the greatest photo of this great plant, but gives you an idea of how it’ll look later season. Still lovely, I think. Didiscus is grown as an annual, I usually sow around April, under cover and they like the warmth, so a bit of bottom heat wouldn’t go amiss. I will try sowing them this year though in October, if we’re having a nice drawn out spell of warmth (like we did last year) and see how they get on with being over-wintered inside, for an earlier show next summer. Even so, they are good growers once they get moving, producing a nice stocky stem which is gently pubescent (ooooohhh).

From about July through to well into September they bush up and produce lovely umbels of pale blue (there’s also pink and white versions but blue is my favourite). They also keep giving, due to their sturdy stems, they hold themselves through all weather and even when the blooms are done, they leave behind a lovely structural pinched nub which blushes ever so slightly red as it ages.

No wonder I like this plant, after a few false starts, it has finally come to rest in the Araliaceae family, I challenge anyone to find a shit plant in that particular club! Other brilliant things about this plant; it is superlative as a cut flower, lasting FOREVER and even being useful with faded flowers, it grows and blends itself beautifully with most types of mixed borders (if you like blue of course) and it feels nice. Trust me on this one… to fondle the stems is mildly arousing… (I said ‘mildly’..)

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