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Berkheya purpurea

Berkheya purpurea
second-year bloom
Berkheya purpurea
first-year bloom
Berkheya purpurea
Cool fuzzy new growth from the center of the rosette

Synonym(s) Stobaea purpurea
Family asteraceae
Life cycle perennial (Z8-10)
Flowers purple (late summer)
From seed germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Thistly taprooted plant with purple daisy flowers in summer. When we first grew this in Pennsylvania, I was afraid we'd see nothing but leaves, because some sources say it's not hardy there – but luckily, it bloomed in August of its first year. Purple daisies, rather nice. We didn't get much of a show that first year, and didn't see any sign of the plants through mid-May of the following year - so I had resigned to growing this as an annual, and was watching the progress of new seedlings, when sometime in June I noticed that the original plants had returned after all. Better yet, they developed quickly, blooming in early July. What was coolest, though, was how the flowers are carried on long, thin, spiny-ridged stalks, giving them a dragonesque appeal. Years later, I started a new batch from seed for our Houston garden. Interestingly, they didn't develop nearly as fast in this warmer climate, and never got close to blooming in their first year. Most of the seedlings perished in summer heat, but a few held on, and acquired some vigor through the winter months.

Berkheya purpurea
Still going strong in early November, after several overnight freezes have killed off many tender plants.
Berkheya purpurea
Ready to go in early March in our Houston garden
Berkheya purpurea
I like the look of the plants in early June, making impressive mounds of silvery-green prickly leaves

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. Baggy 70F (70%G, 9d)
  2. Seed from '06 trade and from '07 garden. Baggy 70F (80%('06) and 7%('07) G, 7d)
  3. Seed from NARGS '17/'18 exchange. Baggy 70F (73%G, 4-11d)
  4. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (67%G, 5-12d)

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