Asperula orientalis, commonly known as Blue Woodruff is a charming little plant. A versatile and easy to grow annual which forms spreading mounds of airy foliage smothered in sweetly scented, clusters of tubular, sky-blue flowers.
Blue Woodruff is a lovely companion plant, the plants make mounds of spring-green foliage. The whorled leaves grow to around 30cm (12in) in height. Use it as a filler around taller plants, thread plants through bare gaps in early spring, around roses, shrubs and perennials. The plants can be used as a ground cover or coupled with tulips.
This attractive plant, especially when grown en masse, tolerates shady and sunny positions as long as the soil is humus rich and evenly moist. The seedlings become apparent sometime in April and grow to flowering size by mid-to-late May, they will flower until the end of summer.
Loved by bees and butterflies, they are great for mixed summer borders and cut flowers. Remove dead heads to prolong flowering.
Sowing: Sow in August to September for early summer flowering the next year or sow directly where they are to flower in March to April.
Sow thinly, 3mm (1/8in) deep in drills 30cm (12in) apart in well-cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Water ground regularly, especially in dry periods.
When large enough to handle, thin out seedlings to 15cm (6in) apart
Sow in pots or trays of moist seed compost and cover with a very fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. After sowing, do not exclude light as this helps germination. Keep at 15 to 20*C (59 to 68*F). Keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. Germination will usually take 14 to 21 days.
When they are large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into 7cm (3in) pots or trays. Overwinter plants in cool, light, frost-free conditions before planting out the following spring, or grow on as greenhouse pot plants.
This fully hardy plant requires a sunny site, growing in most well-drained soil types, even poor soil.
Do not over fertilise because this will lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of blossoms.
Flowers Borders and Beds, Patio/Container Plants, Wildflower Gardens or Wildlife Gardens, Naturalising, Cut Flower, Attracts Butterflies, Drought Tolerant
Asperula orientalis is a native of the Europe into Asia, Turkey, Syria and Iran
It has been long been grown as an ornamental in China where it is prized for its fragrance.
The genus name derives from 'asper' which is Latin for 'rough', a reference to the course bristly leaves.
The species name 'orientalis' refers to China, where the plant is prized for its fragrance.
The common names of Blue Woodruff and Oriental Woodruff
It has the synonym of Asperula azurea.
In the language of flowers Woodruff is said to signify humility because it grows so close to the ground.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 500mg Average Seed Count 350 seeds Family Rubiaceae Genus Asperula Species orientalis Synonym Asperula azurea setosa Common Name Also known as Asperula azurea Other Common Names Oriental Woodruff Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Lavender to Blue Natural Flower Time Early to late summer. Foliage Herbaceous Height 30 to 40cm (12 to 16in) Spread 30cm (12in) Position Full sun to partial shade Soil Rich, moist, well-drained Season Seed to Bloom: 10 weeks Time to Sow Sow in August to September for early summer flowering the next year
or sow directly where they are to flower in March to April
Germination 14 to 21 days.