An underused semi-evergreen plant that loves heavy clay soils in partial to quite dense shade.
It slowly forms quite large mats and is useful for difficult, dark areas.
It is extremely robust and trouble free with large dark green oval leaves that are hairy on both sides so slugs tend to leave them alone. The leaves are mottled and dotted with silvery green patches making this an outstanding foliage plant.
The small, pink buds open at the end of winter and are mobbed by any insect that has popped out of hibernation. These pink buds turn a brilliant gentian blue.
Once flowering is over let the plant set seed before trimming off the spent flower stalks as these turn brown and mushy. Otherwise a very pleasing, useful and easy plant that will delight for many years.
Photo: Blackstem Plants
Dark green, silver spots
Deep blue, pink
Moist, humus rich, well drained
Full shade, partial shade