This perennial is semi-evergreen so it can lose some of its leaves in winter. In colder regions or more exposed gardens, it may lose them all, but then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
Position: full sun
Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: June to August
Hardiness: fully hardy (biennial)
From amongst the rosettes of slender, bristly foliage, upright leafy stems emerge in early summer bearing spikes of violet blue or purple, bell-shaped flowers. When in full bloom, these not only look impressive, but they will also act as a magnet to many pollinating insects. This makes them ideal candidates for a wildlife-friendly garden, but they also make fine additions to the mixed border.
Garden care: Early spring sowings may flower later in their first year. For early summer colour they should be sown in late summer or autumn the previous year. Scatter the seed thinly into a sunny, well-prepared seedbed and cover lightly. Water regularly until they are established, thinning them out to 35cm as they grow on. Take care not to damage the long-tap root if they have to be moved. Dead-heading regularly will help encourage more flowers to form.
Can be Skin irritant.