Isn’t great when not just a new plant is introduced, but a whole new genus? Ray Brown of Plant World in Devon has done just that with the arrival of Lomelosia ‘Blue Mound’.
Lomelosia is in the scabious family (Dipsacaceae) and there are around seventy species from the Eastern Mediterranean – it’s possible you’ve seen them if you’ve been on holiday in Crete or Turkey. It’s easy to see that they’re related to scabious and in fact they’re sometimes included in Scabiosa. They tend to grow in very hot, dry, gravelly places and most are difficult to grow in gardens – indeed they’ve never been in the RHS PlantFinder.
‘Blue Mound’ is an exception. It develops a dome of rather leathery green leaves topped by a long succession of blue scabious-like flowers all summer. One especially valuable feature is that the flowers are held on quite short stems so sit neatly above the foliage. Ray Brown of Plant World told me about it.
“Unidentified seeds were sent to us by a customer who I believe collected it in Turkey walking in the Taurus mountains,” he said. “It seems to be very hardy in a hot or well-drained spot, like so many Turkish plants it just doesn't like winter wet. After 3 or 4 years the plants gets leggy and untidy and it can be propagated it from cuttings although it is easier from seed.”
Lomelosia ‘Blue Mound’ produces very few seeds which are painstakingly collected by hand and only those which can be seen to be fertile (many are not) are included in the packet.
This looks to be an exciting new plant for the Mediterranean garden.
You can order seed of Lomelosia ‘Blue Mound’ from Plant World Seeds.