Common names: Culver’s Root, Bowman’s Root
This name comes from the joining of veronica referring to the veronica family of plants and the Latin suffix astrum meaning an ‘incomplete resemblance’. So, this plant almost resembles veronica. Culver has been associated with the Latin word for pigeon so unless the root resembles a pigeon we have to assume that Mr. Culver and Mr. Bowman had some herbal uses for the plant and had their names attached to it.
- Bloom time: Early to Late Fall
- Height: 60” to 72”
- Sun needed: Sun to light shade
- Bloom color: White to light-blue
- Planting space: 24” apart
- Soil preferred: Moist and rich
- Propagation method: Division or seed
This is the species to grow (there is only one other and it is seldom grown) and it makes an excellent garden performer. It is an elegant, erect plant that never requires staking.
‘Alba’ is a clear-white and a good variety.
‘Roseum’ is a soft-pink flower and worth searching out.
This is a plant of sunny, moist meadows or dappled shade in woodland openings. Grow it in an evenly moist soil for best results in a soil that is high in organic matter. If it is not allowed to dry out, it will give an incredibly tall fall display of flowers that will be a showpiece for the fall garden.
Potions and Poisons:
The root of this plant is a cathartic (you’ll throw up) if eaten. There is also some folklore about the root having abortifact properties. This is a plant that should not be left lying about the garden surface if children are present. The dried root has been used medicinally in treating different diseases, including leprosy. There appears to be less problem with dried roots than fresh roots.