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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Agastache ‘Blue Boa’: colourful and drought tolerant

Posted by Graham Rice on 09 Oct 2012 at 01:09 PM

Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ is colourful and drought tolerant. Image ©Terra Nova NurseriesAgastaches of all kinds are becoming more popular these days. This is partly because most are drought tolerant once they’re established, and also because they’re dependable attractors for bees and butterflies. Their foliage is aromatic, too, and of course they provide a long season of intense flower colour.

‘Blue Boa’ is a new introduction with spikes of deep violet blue flowers held over deep green foliage with a distinct licorice flavour. Reaching 18-24in/45-60cm in height, ‘Blue Boa’ blooms from early summer right through until the frosts end the display.

This looks to be an improvement on the similar Award of Garden Merit winning ‘Blue Fortune’. Dependably hardy, unlike ‘Blue Fortune’, the flowers of ‘Blue Boa’ are deeper in colour, and the long flower spikes are also fatter than those of ‘Blue Fortune’.

With its well-branched but upright habit, this makes a splendid central feature in a large mixed container, with the limey yellow foliage of Helichrysum petiolare ‘Limelight’, perhaps. In a sunny border ‘Blue Boa’ would be impressive with kniphopfias such as the vibrant ‘Orange Flame’, with pink Penstemon ‘Evelyn’ or with bright orange-yellow Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’.

Developed in Portland, Oregon by Terra Nova Nurseries, it is one of eight new agastaches they’re introduced recently. Their aims are to create new varieties with unusually long lasting flowers, improved weather resistance and an improved habit of growth – many older varieties flop and branch poorly.

You can order Agastache ‘Blue Boa’ from Hayloft Plants, and also from the Walled Garden Nursery.

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