Trachelium asperuloides

A little cousin of the campanula that, according to popular belief, hails not from the high mountains but rather the “warm cliffs of Greece” (Farrer). It was one of Roy Elliott’s personal favorites, and it was one of the very first things I was asked to “challenge” myself with. The plant is normally kept in an alpine house, where it must be pruned once it has finished blooming. If this is not done, the flowering stems will naturally die back, which will result in the plant spending the winter with its leaves brown and withered. Additionally, by cutting down, a firmer cushion is created. It’s one of those plants that just kind of hangs out there and doesn’t do much, but for two or three weeks in June and July, it turns into a miraculous display of powder blue blooms that are about one inch high (at maximum). I cultivate it in a manner that is similar to that of growing campanulas; specifically, I repot it once a year in the month of March and make sure to keep it somewhat damp during the winter. The division is the most common method of propagation for this plant; but, it also produces short runners or suckers, and when you report it, you will often discover a little cushion growing at the edge of the pot. I remove it and begin it in compost that has a lot of sand in it.

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