Tag Archives: Cerinthe major pupurescens

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – mid May 2016


There are still a few bulbs clinging on, particularly Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’ (above) and below with ‘Merry go round’IMG_0496

just a few Tulip ‘Jimmy’ and Narcissus ‘Yazz’IMG_0490

Narcissus ‘Goose Green’IMG_0513

and in the Swing Beds, the Tulips ‘Menton’ and ‘Mistress’.IMG_0500

New bulbs emerging include these Gladiolus byzantinus, just coming into bloom in the Lavender Beds but rather more shy elsewhere,



as well as these Nectoscordum siculum that I’ve said for two years I was going to pull out.IMG_0499

I’ve already got a good showing of Pelargoniums, both outside and in the greenhouseIMG_0517






and a couple of Clematis.  I love this Montana, which has found its way through the (sadly now empty) chicken hutIMG_0503

but I’m really not convinced about Clematis ‘Josephine’.  What was I thinking?


Meanwhile, thinking of climbers, my Wisteria is already going over.


and has showered its purple petals on the succulentsIMG_0493

Also in containers the Matthiola incana has gone mad in the troughs and smells absolutely divine.IMG_0497

Surviving through the winter and already looking better than last year, Cerinthe major purpurescens (such a favourite)IMG_0507

and Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’, grown from seed last year.IMG_0506

And to finish, the first of the roses, Rosa ‘Snow Goose’ on the pergola.IMG_0501

With thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens who hosts everyone’s GBBD.

Honeywort worrywart


The first time I saw Cerinthe major purpurescens must have been fifteen or so years ago in the garden of the fabulous garden photographer Andrew Lawson, which was open for the NGS. 

It was growing in a terracotta pot against the wall of the house, and had a sign saying ‘shrimp plant’ .  It was creating quite a stir, and I remember thinking I had never seen anything quite like it.

Fast forward fifteen years and I’m delighted to say I have numerous Cerinthe plants here which have survived the winter and as a consequence are bigger and better than they’ve ever been before.  However, what’s intriguing me, is why are they so different?

I believe I’ve sown seeds of (just) Cerinthe major purpurescens and yet I would suggest these three self sown plants of mine are quite different. 

In a quest for enlightenment, I found myself lost in The Plant List, “a working list of all plant species,” for some considerable time.  The Plant List suggests there are 65 plants listed under Cerinthe, but what’s intriguing is how many are “synonyms”, “unresolved” and some even “illegitimate” (shocking!)

Unfortunately The Plant List doesn’t provide photos, but Google imaging the six “accepted” Cerinthe plant names gives

Cerinthe glabra Mill (photo http://www.floraofromania.transsilvanica.net/)

Cerinthe Minor (photo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cerinthe_minor_(7316907402).jpg)

Cerinthe palaestina Eig & Sam  (photo http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Cerinthe_major_%28plant%29.jpg?uselang=ru)

 Cerinthe retorta (Photo http://www.anniesannuals.com/gardens/04/spring/index.asp?id=7)

Cerinthe Tristis, which I couldn’t find a photo for, and lastly

Cerinthe major

Clearly mine match none of the photos above, so does that mean mine are all Cerinthe major, but some more purpurescens than others?  And how can there be such variety when they can’t have crossed with anything else because i don’t have any other Cerinthes?  And how, when the slightest differentiation between (say) snowdrop markings can elicit significant excitement and a whole new name, can I have really quite fundamentally different coloured plants, still called the same thing?

Or are there bigger things to worry about?  I think I know the answer to that one, so I’ll stop now.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – May

IMG_2303 (2)Eleagnus ‘Quicksilver‘ with (I think) Green Orb-Weaver spider.  I had never noticed the flowers before, so thank you GBBD for making me look!

Last month I said was all about the tulips, and whilst every other tulip is long gone, my gorgeous Angeliques are still flowering, so I think they deserve a final curtain call.


Also in pots (as well as those on the barrow) I’ve got lots of pelargoniums and maguerites.


I’ve also taken a couple of photos of flowers on the succulents,

but the big news has to be the number of roses coming into bloom.  These three were inherited, so I’m afraid I don’t know the names,

but these were all planted by me in the last three or four years, and they’re finally starting to look properly established – Madame Gregoire Staechelin


Rosa Korizont


and Rosa St Swithun


This Veronica prostrata is another plant that looks much more settled than it did last year.IMG_2311

I love the colour of this Potentilla, I think it’s Potentilla nepalensis ‘ShogranIMG_2262

The Cerinthes are just getting better and better, here with Erysmum ‘Winter Orchid’IMG_2294

However, I’m not entirely sure about this Clematis, Josephine, I think she may be a little too showy for my likingIMG_2278

On a rather more subdued note, a dark Aquilegia with Nectoscordum siculum.  I’m not convinced about the Nectoscordum either, but for the opposite reason – I’m not sure it’s showy enough – but it’s so perennial I don’t have the heart to rip it out.IMG_2327

I certainly wouldn’t want to be without my Allium Purple SensationsIMG_2307 (2)

But to finish, my first sweet pea – the Tangier Pea, Lathyrus tingitanus.  which I wrote about in January.  How the year’s flying by…


With thanks again to Carol at May Dream Gardens for hosting GBBD.