Ceratostigma plumbaginoides

Plumbago (Bleiwurz)

Ceratostigma is a surprisingly hardy little shrub when you consider how delicate the flowers look. I absolutely adore this plant. It thrives in my dry stony soil in the rockery, and can cope with drought and intense heat. It is useful ground cover on this site, appearing fairly late, so ideal for a spot where there are spring bulbs. It flowers from August until the first frosts… and the leaves turn a beautiful shade of reddish brown and bronze while still in bloom, contrasting wonderfully with the azure blue petals.

I’m so glad I discovered it, and am slowly adding new plants to other spots in my rockery garden (it spreads rather slowly). I have tried dividing it, but with limited success.

It is also called leadwort (in Germany Chinesische Bleiwurz) and came to us from China and Asia. The name is derived from the Latin for lead, plumbum, and may have been named so because of the lead-blue flowers or because in Roman times it was believed (by the Roman naturalist Pliny) to be a cure for lead-poisoning.