Anchusa azurea 'Dropmore'
Common Name: blue bugloss
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Boraginaceae
Zone: 3 to 10
Height: 4.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Deep blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Grow in average, medium met, well-drained soils in full sun. Some light afternoon shade is appreciated in hot St. Louis summers. Needs excellent drainage. Loves rich, fertile soils, but is more vigorous therein and tends to grow taller and flop more. Benefits from a winter mulch on the root zone, but not on the crowns. Can be short-lived in the garden. Prompt deadheading of spent flowers may prolong the bloom period and will help prevent any unwanted self-seeding. If foliage turns unsightly in summer after bloom, plants may be cut back hard. Plants may also be cut back hard in early autumn to aid in overwintering. May readily self-seed in optimum growing conditions, but cultivars of A. azurea generally do not come true from seed and should be propagated by root cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

'Dropmore' is an Anchusa cultivar which typically grows 3-4' tall. It is a coarse, clump-forming perennial which features deep blue forget-me-not-like flowers (to 3/4" across) in terminal spikes (scorpioid cymes) rising above the foliage in late spring to early summer. Same family as forget-me-nots (Myosotis), but flowers are larger. Oblong to lance-shaped leaves (4-8" long) are coarse and hairy. Anchusa azurea and its cultivars are sometimes commonly called Italian alkanet or Italian bugloss.

Problems

Crown rot can be a significant problem, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Taller plants usually need support. Plant stems tend to open up and flop and foliage tends to depreciate in summer after bloom, particularly in hot and humid summer climates such as the St. Louis area.

Garden Uses

Borders. Specimen or small groups. Naturalized areas.