Native to Siberia and the Caucasus this plant has been one of my long time favorite spring-blooming perennials.
Its common name Siberian Bugloss is obviously derived from that location.
- Height 12-18 inches
- Width/Spacing 18-24 (wider than tall)
- Hardiness USDA 4 with ease
- Flower Color Blue
- Bloomtime early spring
- Propagation Division (see notes)
- Soils woodland is best
- Light part shade to shade (not dense shade)
Avoid clay soils as the water-logging will winter kill this plant.
If you understand it is a forest dweller or edge-of-forest plant then you understand it wants a part shade area with a good soil high in organic matter.
Add a mulch and regular moisture levels and you have a tremendous growing condition.
The sky-blue flowers resemble forget-me-nots but they’re much larger and fuller – this is a much bigger plant. And coming in the early spring, they make a fine contrast with the yellows of daffodils.
Cut back flowers after blooming as they do tend to look pretty ragged.
This plant is divided in the very early spring before it blooms (you’ll only have a day or two to dig/divide before it goes from small shoot to fully emerged leaves. An early fall division will also work nicely.
The trick here though is that if you try to divide a plant when it is too small or stress it unduly, the leave color has been known to revert to green and nothing will bring back the variegations. Once it goes green, it’s green.
The variety ‘Variegata’ or ‘Dawson’s White’ (see below) are the worst of the bunch for this reversion. When you divide them, do not allow them to be stressed for temperature or water.
I’ve never had this plant self-sow for me. I’ve always propagated it from divisions so it isn’t a spreading thug like the forget-me-not.
New Varieties Since 2010
Recommended Varieties Prior To 2010
The species is often sold and is a delightful plant all by itself.
‘Langtrees’ also sold as ‘Aluminum Spot’ This form has aluminum colored spots on the leaves – quite attractive in the part shade garden.
‘Variegata’ also sold as ‘Dawson’s White’ Heavily variegated in white and green leaf.
’Jack Frost’ with silvery leaves and veined foliage. Excellent plant and pictured here in its first year – it will get thicker with age.