This plant was discovered in the late 19th century by Abbe Jean Marie Delavay, in Yunnan China where it grows high up on open hillsides in scrub and at the edge of woods.
In cultivation it succeeds in a broad range of conditions given adequate drainage and partial shade.
Any reasonable soil will do although not unimproved heavy clay.
It forms a tidy basal clump of fine foliage from which the very tall flower stalks emerge. These are airily branched with clouds of perfectly formed, umbrella shaped, small lilac flowers with bright yellow stamens.
These fluffy delights are see-through and as the foliage takes up little space, plant anywhere in the border rather than confining it to the back.
A position sheltered from wind is advised as the shape of the delicate flower stalks is ruined by heavy handed staking.
Photo: Blackstem Plants
Well drained, sandy
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