Blue shrimp plant

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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Blue shrimp plant (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’)
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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

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