Family: Borage (Boraginacea)
Hardy to Zone 3 to 9
Herbaceous perennial native to the Mediterranean basin and Southern Europe, also N. Africa, W Asia, Pakistan and the Caucasus. This species is noted for its intense, royal purple flowers, as big as nickels. Flowers sweetly edible.
Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart.
Excellent plant for bees and other pollinators.
Anchusa azurea is extraordinary on the landscape, but like many Boraginacea they do get rangy after flowering. At this point, cut them back to the base and they will gather their resources and go for another flowering cycle. Sow seed in spring. Easy one for beginners, satisfactory plant for the advanced gardener. Prefers full sun and fast draining soils, little fertility.
Traditional herbal use: poultice of fresh root used as an anti inflammatory application. Plant may be dried, ground up and reconstituted with water to make a poultice. High internal dose or extended internal usage not advised–contains low levels of unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids.