The Plant Guide

Browse the Full Plant Guide

Blue shrimp plant

Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’

sir-IN-thee MAY-jor Audio

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 CharacteristicsGrayish-green foliage, deep-purple bracts. Unusual appearance. Can be used as an annual.

CareThrives in a variety of soil types and does best in full sun or very light shade.

PropagationCollect 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 to 3 inches tall. Seed can also be sown in situ after danger of frost is past.

ProblemsSlugs when plants are young

  • Genus : Cerinthe
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Width : 1 to 3 feet
  • Plant Type : Annuals
  • Uses : Containers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Characteristics : Self Seeds, Showy Foliage
  • Bloom Time : Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest

Related Plants

Related Articles

More From the Plant Guide

Winter Interest

Partial Shade

Browse the Full Plant Guide