Omphalodes

Navelwort

A favorite of Marie Antoinette’s, these endearing forget-me-not–like flowers claim their name from the navel-shaped groove that marks each seed. Omphalodes are members of the Borage family, preferring moist soils but tolerant of dry conditions when grown in shade. They can take full sun where summers are temperate and need dappled light elsewhere. Slowly spreading by underground stems, let this lovely and leafy evergreen ground cover enhance the edge of the woods or a rock garden with spring bulbs and Ajuga not far away.

“True Blue” is our claim about Captain Collingwood Ingram’s improvement on this species. Year after year, a generous showing of deep blue flowers adorns 15 in. leafy stems stretching above a tidy mass of green leaves. Larger than the species, these blossoms extend their display by fading to nostalgic violet tones.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 10" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

<i>Omphalodes cappadocica</i> ‘Joy Skies’

Created by New Zealand’s noted breeder, Terry Hatch, ‘Joy Skies’ has wonderfully elegant and loose mounds of long, lancelike leaves arching gracefully downward. The charming open-faced flowers borne along trailing stems echo the intense azure of the summer sky. Star-shaped, light green calyxes add a colorful shimmer.

In our garden, we’ve backed it with the sunny sparkle of Hypericum kouytchense and the eye catching foliage of Spiraea ‘Ogon’.

Blooms April–July.

Size: 12" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

And you thought you had to travel all the way to France to enjoy a Parisian sky! Enchanting, just like the cultivar name suggests, this Omphalodes hosts a profusion of blooms in luminous bleu d’azur hues above a leafy base of foliage. Bring European appeal to your woodland trail and try ‘Parisian Skies’ en masse with Pulmonaria ‘Excalibur’ nearby.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 10" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

This stellar old favorite displays plentiful airy sprays of fetching Mediterranean blue flowers defined by illuminated white eyes and five spaced round-edged petals, each one with a deep blue interior and a pink rim that eventually matures to white. The dainty bicolored blooms sparkle above long-petioled, dark green leaves shaping an attractive bushy hummock. Irresistible when massed, ‘Starry Eyes’ can enchant the rockery, a shady planting or the woodland garden. A member of the Borage family, Omphalodes prefers moist soil, but will tolerate dry conditions when grown in shade.

Blooms April–June.

Size: 10" high x 12" wide.

Hardy to zone 6.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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