Trachymene blue lace flower
Height 45cm (18in)
Planting distance 23cm (9in)
Flowers mid to late summer
Any good garden
Sheltered sunny site
The modest lavender-blueof Trachymene caerulea (syn. Didiscus caeruleus), the blue lace flower, make a welcome change from the strong, startling colours characteristic of so many annuals and biennials. Composed of dainty florets arranged in small round umbels, they resemble the cushions of the annual scabious. They have a slight scent and appear from mid to late summer.
The flowers are carried on 45cm (18in) high bushy plants with light green deeply divided leaves sticky to the touch.
Blue lace flowers look best grown in groups among other annuals in a sunny border. Their long, stiff stems make them good for cutting.
Sow the seeds under glass in early spring and keep at a temperature of 15°C (59°F). As soon as the seed-lings are large enough to handle, prick them out into 7.5cm (3in) pots or seed boxes. Harden off in a cold frame, before planting out in late spring.
Blue lace flowers grow in any good garden soil in a sheltered sunny position. The plants may need the support of twiggy sticks.
Pests and diseases