Brunnera macrophylla 'Hadspen Cream'

Brunnera Hadspen Cream    Perennial of the Month-- March 2006 

(BRUN-ner-ah  ma-crow-FIL-ah) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name:  Siberian Bugloss, Brunnera

Family: Boraginaceae, Borage

Height x width: 12" x 12-18", rounded habit

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: Alternate, heart-shaped, cordate at base, stem leaves smaller. Leaves increase in size from spring to summer. This cultivar with light green, irregular creamy white margins (more yellow as temperatures rise), to 8" across

Flowers: Blue, starlike under 1/4" across, in branched racemes in spring, early summer; excellent yet subtle contrast against the leaves; resemble flowers of Anchusa or Myosotis

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-8

Soil: moist, well-drained

Light: part shade to shade

Pests and problems: leaves may scorch, turn brown on edges in full sun or drought

Landscape habit, uses: Excellent blue color in spring. Used for naturalizing in shady areas or in the perennial border. Great to add some color and interest to shady areas; combines well with Variegated Solomon's Seal, spring bulbs, ferns, golden Hakone grass, golden-edged or blue-leaved hostas

Other interest: The genus is native to Siberia and the Caucasus, hence the common name.  The other common  name "bugloss" is a combination of the Greek words for ox and tongue, referring to the leaf shape and texture.  The genus was named for the 19th century Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner (1790-1844). It has been around a few years now but is still choice and somewhat rare; more desirable than 'Variegata' and more tolerant of part sun; from Hadspen House Gardens, Somerset, England and selected by the nurseryman Eric Smith working there during the 1970s.

Other culture: If the clump starts to deteriorate in the center, it is time to divide

Propagation: only by division, can be difficult

Sources: specialty perennial nurseries locally and online or mail order

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