Botanical name: Eranthemum pulchellum Family: Acanthaceae (ruellia family)
Synonyms: Eranthemum nervosum, Justicia nervosa, Daedalacanthus nervosus
This sub-shrub, native to the Himalayas, is exceptional for its rich blue flowers which occur in terminal spikes during the early winter season. The 3- to 6-inch-long flower spikes are borne above the large, rounded and prominently veined leaves. It is a popular garden plant. The plant even looks great in foliage without flowers. One prominent way in which it differs from its wild cousin Rosy Eranthemum (Eranthemum roseum) is that the flowers are completely scentless, whereas those of Rosy Eranthemum have a strong odour. Blue Sage will attain a height of 4 to 6 feet and has a 1 to 3 foot spread. After a season or two each of the branches dies back to the soil line. If conditions are reasonable numerous new shoots come up. Blue Sage will produce more blooms and remain compact if the plant is severely cut back after flowering. Cut the plant to the ground after frost; new shoots will appear when the weather gets warm. Flowering: February-April.
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