Brunnera macrophylla 'Alexander's Great'
Common Name: Siberian bugloss
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Boraginaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Sky blue
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in part shade. Prefers consistently moist, organically rich soils in shady areas. Generally intolerant of dry soils, but tolerates some dryness better than most other cultivars of this species. Foliage may scorch in hot summer sun. Plants prefer cool summers, and generally will not perform well in the hot and humid summer conditions of the deep South (USDA Zones 7-9). Clumps slowly spread by creeping rhizomes to form thick ground covers. Plants may self seed in optimum growing conditions, but seedlings of variegated forms may not come true (may lose variegation).

Noteworthy Characteristics

Brunnera macrophylla, commonly called Siberian bugloss, is a rhizomatous, clump-forming perennial that is primarily grown in shady areas for its attractive heart-shaped, dark green, basal foliage. Small, forget-me-not-like flowers of light blue with yellow centers bloom in airy, branched racemes rising well above the foliage on slender stems to 18" tall in spring. Basal leaves form a foliage mound which remains attractive throughout the growing season. Smaller upper leaves are elliptic.

Brunnera macrophylla is synonymous with and sometimes sold as Anchusa myosotidiflora.

Genus name honors Swiss botanist Samuel Brunner (1790-1844).

Specific epithet from Latin means large leaved.

Common name of bugloss comes from Greek meaning ox tongue in probable reference to the roughness and shape of the leaves.

'Alexander's Great' was found by Alexander Zukeivich of Belarus as a seedling in his garden and was introduced by Terra Nova Nurseries of Oregon in 2013. It is similar to Brunnera 'Jack Frost' but larger. It forms a large mound of heart-shaped, silvered leaves that have contrasting green veins and a narrow green edge. In spring it has stalks of small sky blue flowers that rise above the foliage. 'Alexander's Great' grows 1 to 1.5 ft. tall and 2 to 2.5 ft. wide. U. S. Plant Patent applied for and registered with the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails are occasional visitors.

Garden Uses

Specimen, groups or mass as a ground cover. Borders, woodland gardens, naturalized areas or along streams or ponds. Containers.