Blue shrimp plant Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Blue shrimp plant (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’) sir-IN-thee MAY-jor Genus: Cerinthe Though subtly colored, Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ draws comment wherever it inserts itself. The steely purple bracts and leathery gray foliage of this annual seem extraterrestrial poking up among more conventional herbaceous plants. It is an annual from the Mediterranean region with leaves like a eucalyptus and flowers like a purple euphorbia. This plant produces large black seeds that drop to the ground in late summer and germinate in fall to start the cycle all over again if growing conditions are right. Noteworthy Characteristics: Grayish-green foliage, deep-purple bracts. Unusual appearance. Can be used as an annual. Care: Thrives in a variety of soils and does best in full sun or very light shade. Propagation: Collect the seeds in fall and keep them in dry storage over winter. Sow the seeds in pots in several batches in spring so that flagging plants can be replaced as needed with fresh, young seedlings. Plant out the seedlings when they are about 2-3 inches tall. Seed can also be sown in situ after danger of frost is past. Problems: Slugs when plants are young. Overview Height 1 ft. to 3 ft. Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft. Growth Habit Clumps Growth Pace Moderate Grower Light Full Sun to Part Shade Moisture Medium Moisture Maintenance Moderate Characteristics Self Seeds, Showy Flowers, Showy Foliage Bloom Time Summer Flower Color Purple/Lavender Flower Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Suitable as Annual Style Cottage Garden Seasonal Interest Summer Interest Type Annuals Related Plants to Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Plumed celosia Celosia cristata 'Century' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Zinnia Zinnia elegans 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Rose-balsam Impatiens balsamina and cvs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Indian cress Tropaeolum majus 'Mahogany Jewel' View the discussion thread.