Green Alkanet: the evergreen bugloss



This flower has such lovely deep blue petals one wonders why it is called green alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens), after all nearly all flowers have green leaves and stems because they contain chlorophyll. The answer would appear to be that this plant retains its green leaves and stem throughout the winter, it is always green even when there are no blue flowers. 
This species is related to forget-me-nots and that can clearly be seen in the shape of the flowers, blue with a white centre and honey guides. These flowers can be seen from as early as March through util July. It is an erect plant growing to a metre tall with very hairy leaves and stems which give it a rough appearance.
Green alkanet can be found on roadsides and in hedgerows, sometimes in woodland borders, and often this will be near human habitation. Although a native plants it was often grown in cottage gardens and has frequently escaped. It does not grow on acid soils preferring more alkaline conditions and it is thought that is where the alkanet name comes from. There are other varieties of alkanet grown in gardens and they two are sometimes encountered in the wild.
Green Alkanet: the evergreen bugloss

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