Sheer elegance personified (or maybe that should be plantified), Veronicastrum Fascination will charm you with its elegant willowy stature and branched spires of lilac blue flowers over a long period in mid and late summer. Enough to keep you fascinated, we should think. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. 36 in. plus. 2 litre pot.


Not a big genus, Veronicastrum consists of just two species, of which Virginicum is the better known, with a wide range of varieties available. As you might guess from the name, it's a plant with its roots in North America, where it is found from Texas to Ontario (now that's quite a range!). Its native habitats are understandably quite diverse, including meadows, prairies, woodland and the grassy slopes of mountain areas.

If you want your Fascination tall, leave it to its own devices, other than doing a bit of judicious deadheading and then cutting right back for winter. We find a Chelsea chop (cut back by a third in mid to late May) encourages a more compact and bushier habit, which we prefer. But it's entirely up to you.

Veronicastrum Virginicum has a common name of culver's root. The culver bit is a reference to a certain Dr. Culver, an American physician of the eighteenth century, who popularised the use of the dried roots as a purgative or emetic. Nice.

Veronicastrum Virginicum Fascination is a tall hardy perennial with branched spires of lilac blue flowers in mid to late summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

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