Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder

posted in: Gardening | 27

Have you ever heard of Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder before?  It’s a little rarity here in the UK first discovered by Augustine Henry in China in the early 20th Century. It’s an exquisite and highly sought after clump forming perennial that grows to about 2 feet tall. Moreover if you can give it the right conditions it’s a wonderful addition to the late summer border.  It has beautiful clusters of nodding waxy pale blue blooms. The flower petals curve around the rosette of anthers from July onwards.  It’s just perfect for a cool, shady and moist position in humus rich soil. During dry periods in Spring and Summer it might need some extra moisture. Though it requires a sheltered location in the garden away from strong winds.

Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder
Deinanthe caerulea Blue wonder flowers are approx 1 inch in diameter

Caring For Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder

It has large crinkled leaves. The foliage is quite similar to a hydrangea leaf and is classed as being part of the Hydrangeaceae family. Lets say a cousin but a herbaceous one at that! You really can see the similarity between the two plants. The leaves alone are a nice variation in texture among the other plants in the border. Sun is something that its leaves don’t like. Due to a well established plant recently dying in that border (another very late winter casualty) mine has been getting more sun this summer than I expected when I first chose its planting spot.
Next Spring I’ll move it more into the dappled shade. But I don’t want to disturb its roots this late in the season as I want it to be well established to cope with our winter temperatures.  Probably in late Autumn I will place a deep mulch of multi purpose compost on top of the crown to protect it. Then be on the alert for slugs and snails once the new leaves emerge in early Spring.
Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder
Deinanthe caerulea Blue Wonder – Shy nodding flowers dip towards the ground
I have to thank my friend for sourcing this for me in Perthshire. He is a plant explorer having spent quite a lot of time exploring in very remote parts of China  with the Chinese Botanics.  Someday I hope to be able to tell you about one of his new plant discoveries. But for now I cannot reveal any details of what he has found until all the paper work is completed. Other than it has taken 3 years for his “find” to flower. And now that it has flowered the Chinese Botanics have confirmed that it is a new species!
Rosie Nixon
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Rosie is based in Perth, Perthshire as a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature in her own garden and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the Scottish outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at the only photographic gallery in Scotland - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh.

27 Responses

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    Edith Hope

    Dear Rosie, How exciting this all is and, no, I do not know of the plant you feature here.

    Your friend sounds to be very much in the tradition of those marvellous C19 explorers. I do hope that you shall be able to reveal his discovery before too long!!

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    That's a sweet little bloom – love your macro shot. Plant explorer friends – way cool!

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    Rosie, Your Blue Wonder is gorgeous and your photos are beautiful. Lovely! What great stories your plant explorer friend must share… looking forward to reading more on this in time. ;>)

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    A pretty flower Rosie. I have never heard of it. Your friend sounds like really cool and interesting. How wonderful to have discovered a new plant species.

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    A very intriguing post, Rosie, and a china blue flower indeed. What a rarity and I like it's understatedness.

    Laura x

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    Deinanthe caerulea is a wonderful plant. I have grown both it and D. bifida which has flowers that are white, tinged pink. Definitely not one for too sunny a location, and I have discovered that they require a lot of moisture and are heavy feeders….. like their cousins in the Hydrangea family.

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    I am not familiar with this charming plant. I suspect it would perish in my heat, but I am surprised it is not better known!

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    What a cute plant, I have never seen it before. I wonder if anyone at all here in Scandinavia have seen it.
    I'll look efter it.

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    After watching a documentary on China ( Wild China ) I came to the conclusion that many of the beautiful plants we enjoy growing came from China long ago. Lilacs, Peonies, Rhododendron. This wonderful plant you have showcased is yet another sweet addition. I love seeing new plants. Thanks for sharing!

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    Lovely little flower and so tiny.
    I've never seen it before, it has a gorgeous color.

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    I've never come across this plant before….not even on blogs. The tiny blooms (so well photographed) are beautiful!

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    Curbstone Valley Farm

    What a charming flower, I've never seen one before. The color is so delicate, and yet the leaves seem quite substantial, and richly textured. Lovely visual interest for a late summer garden indeed.

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    like everyone else, this is a new one on me…the boldness of the leaves attract me…glad you are caring for it…

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    Very interesting..
    Never seen this flowering plant before.
    Thank you for sharing the pictures and informaton.

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    Hi Rosie, I've never heard of this little flower before. It kind of reminds me of a penstemon.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have a cute one yourself.

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    What a sweet sweet plant..just beautiful color.
    Many thanks for coming by…please come again. I am linking up to be your newest follower…:))

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    What a marvel Rosie! The petals though look so delicate and they are really shy. Definitely, it is not found in this part of the world, and the excitement of finding flowers and plants not common in our vicinity make it more wonderful. Rosie, do you know the Scotland is one of my dreamplaces to visit? I forgot if i already told you that. The others are Machu Pichu, Tibet and Egypt. Maybe not in this lifetim though!

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    I love the colour a lot!! I never seen this one before, though. I wish I can have it in my garden..

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