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By AndrewR


Do you ever look at Wikipedia for a description of a plant? This is what is says about omphalodes:
“Omphalodes (navelwort) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae, widely distributed in the temperate Northern Hemisphere. In spring they produce blue or white flowers similar to forget-me-nots …. O. verna and cultivars of O. cappadocica are grown in gardens for their blue flowers which in spring appear above the leaves in loose sprays. They are woodland plants, preferring some shade.”

As the omphalodes in my garden are now all flowering, I thought a quick run through them is called for.

First is the standard O. cappadocica

O. c. ‘Cherry Ingram’ is a slightly bigger plant with larger flowers

The variety ‘Starry Eyes’ has white rims and a white eye to the flowers, but I can’t warm to it. But I do have O. c. ‘Lilac Mist’, a rare form a pronounced mauve tint, especially in bud

Finally, I have O. verna, with tiny white blooms shining out in heavy shade. Although its neighbours threaten to over whelm it, it has been holding its own in dry shade for more than twenty years

Omphalodes are not big and blowsy, which probably explains why Garden Centres tend not to stock them – Joe Public would just walk past without a second glance. But many small nurseries sell them, and in the current climate, many are relying on mail order for their survival, so please check out Plant Finder, and get your order in today.

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Couldn't agree more with you Andrew on all counts. the only one that seems to do well for me is O verna. It is such a happy little thing and spreads really well in my garden. I do/did have a mauve one as well as cherry ingham and starry eyes but not noticed them for a while. perhaps just that bit too dry where I planted them. I will go and see if I can find them.

25 Mar, 2020


Omphalodes just don't do it for me. Probably because mine doesn't produce enough flowers. Maybe I need to move it to a shadier, less dry position.

25 Mar, 2020


It's definitely one of the chorus, not the star attraction of any spring display

25 Mar, 2020


They might not be the stars of the show but a change from the yellows and whites of the daffodils is great. I shall go and check mine and compare them against your pictures.

26 Mar, 2020


An inspiring blog, Andrew, thank you. I am tempted to try growing them in the shade below my beech hedge, I have cyclamen multiplying happily there but it is a long hedge and there is plenty of room there. As Honeysuckle says, it would rebalance the colour in the garden away from yellow and white.

10 Apr, 2020


interesting blog Andrew, but any relative of borage .... I will look at your recommendations and I did grow anchusa in my old garden which I think is a relative?

16 May, 2020


BA - they are both in boraginaceae (as is anchusa) so, yes, they are related. Pulmonarias are in the same family too

16 May, 2020

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