Thursday, January 21, 2010

Busy Bumble Bees Among the Forget-Me-Nots

Anchusa capensis is a wonderful blue flower from South Africa, which is easy to grow here as an annual (if started early) or a biennial/short lived perennial. I've had a small colony for a couple of years in the school slope garden, and some of the plants have self sowed. They bloom in June and early July, mostly, and the bumble bees are particularly fond of them. Even though this African forget-me-not is from gentler climes, rosettes of non flowering first year plants (and occasionally offsets of a plant that finished flowering) do tend to survive whatever winter throws at them here in NY. Harvesting seed is not fun, the seedheads have irritating bristles and the dark, reasonably sized seeds are hard to separate from the chaff.

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