Common Name: Butterfly Blue Pincushion Flower

Zone: 3-7

Family: Dipsacaceae

Size: 12 inches high; 12 inches wide

Exposure: full sun or light shade

Flowering: May-October

A long-blooming perennial suited for full-sun or light shade that does best in well-drained soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. The hairy, grey-green foliage is generally basal,ovate to lance shaped, and acts as ground cover with slender 12- to 15-inch stems that boast ruffly lavender-blue flowers. Its stamens which stand about the petals greatly resembles pins stuck in a pincushion, hence its common name.

Deadheading prolongs bloom time and keeps the plant looking fresh. In older the plants, this can be tedious as the plant can produce hundreds of blooms in a season. The flowering stems usually branch into two or more flowers per stem. Cut the old flower and its stem down to a new lateral stem or bud, and when that lateral stem has flowered it should be cut down to the next lateral stem or bud, or to the basal foliage.

It is recommended that the basal foliage not be cut back in the winter, but instead in the spring when new growth starts. Divide every 3-4 years and only if the plant looks crowded.

Voted Perennial Plant of the Year 2000 by the Perennial Plant Association.

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