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Flowers: Cerinthe/Honeywort
Cerinthe major purpurascens
Native of the Mediterranean region from Morocco to western Iran, growing from 1-3’? ? on a strong taproot with sea-green waxy leaves and flowers from white to yellow to purple. The purple types are referred to as a subspecies (purpurascens), characterized by blue-purple bracts at the ends of the nodding stems, surrounding tubular purple flowers. These make stunning, somewhat odd members of the garden borders, still in the class of the seldom seen. Hummingbirds and bees of every kind go completely bonkers for these plants, as the common name suggests. Used as a cut bouquet filler with stunning effect. Like its family relative, borage, cerinthe will self sow in garden conditions, and naturalizes in Mediterranean climates. Tolerant of moderate freezing. As one older gardener put it, “Cerinthe is forever.” Everyone I know likes having it around.

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