Dracocephalum forrestii – Dragon’s Head –


Dracocephalum – Dragon’s Head –

There are about 50 species of annuals and perennials, and dwarf evergreen shrubs, in this genus. They occur in a range of habitats, from dry, sunny steppes and rocky, grassy slopes to dry woodland, mostly in Eurasia, but also in Northern Africa and Northern USA. They are grown for their whorls of tubular, 2 lipped, mostly blue and purple flowers, held in upright, terminal or axillary racemes, 3-12″ or more long, in summer. They have square stems that carry, often aromatic when crushed, mainly linear to broadly ovate, smooth or toothed edged, lobed or pinnatisect, mid green leaves, usually ½-3″ long. Grow inn a border or rock garden, some species are also suitable for naturalizing in partial shade.

Grow in well drained, moderately fertile soil with ample moisture in spring and summer, in full sun with some midday shade.

Prone to rust, mildew, southern blight, and spider mites.

D. forrestii – This rhizomatous, clump forming perennial from Western China grows 18-20″ tall and 12″ wide. It produces obovate, pinnatisect leaves, to 3/4″ long, with 2 or 3 pairs of linear segments, tightly inrolled. From late summer to mid autumn it bears slender, erect, very leafy, white-hairy stems carry dense, whorled racemes of softly white-hairy, deep purple-blue flowers, 3/4-1 1/4″ long.

Zones 4-8