Blue Pimpernel

17 Apr

Perennial Blue Pimpernel (Anagallis monelli “Skylover”), evergreen, mounded to spreading growth to 12 inches in height with an 18 in. spread, rounded clusters of intense blue flowers with pink/yellow centers in summer, full sun, good in containers or window boxes, deer resistant.

Anagallis monelli (Blue Pimpernel) is a species of pimpernel, native to the Mediterranean region. It is not to be confused with A. arvensis ssp. foemina (syn. A. foemina), which has very similar blue flowers, but broader leaves and can can be found also in colder climates.

In south-west Europe and north Africa, there is a species of pimpernel which rarely survives winters further north, but has conspicuously larger flowers than the varieties indigenous there. It is called Anagallis monelli and produces flowers which can be up to 1 in wide. Numerous cultivars of this species (and of the small-leafed subspecies Anagallis monelli ssp. linifolia) are sold as annuals for rockeries, border edges, containers, and hanging baskets. They are grown from seed or cuttings and have lovely names, including Anagallis monelli ‘Skylover,’ Anagallis monelli ‘Blue Bird,’ Anagallis monelli ssp. linifolia ‘Gentian Blue,’ and Anagallis monelli ‘Philipii,’ but the differences among the species are minimal and mostly limited to variations in the shade of the flowers.

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