Love Plant, Cupid's Dart
Catananche caerulea

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Catananche (kat-AN-ak-ee) (Info)
Species: caerulea (see-ROO-lee-uh) (Info)

Category:

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Light Blue

Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Silver/Gray

Other details:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Glen Avon, California

Long Beach, California

Richmond, California

Riverside, California

Spring Valley, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Middletown, Delaware

Keystone Heights, Florida

Boise, Idaho

Meridian, Idaho

Plainfield, Illinois

Wauconda, Illinois

Inwood, Iowa

Olathe, Kansas

South China, Maine

Little Falls, Minnesota

Whitehall, Montana

Sparks, Nevada

Manchester, New Hampshire

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Akron, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Farmington, Utah

Roosevelt, Utah

Springfield, Virginia

East Port Orchard, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
3
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 15, 2014, Harwah from Little Falls, MN wrote:

Has weathered two winters now including the last frigid winter with multiple -40 lows. Growing in super sandy spot with wood chip mulch and plentiful snow cover. Whimsical plant has charming purple flower heads that dance on top of long stems. Started from seed three years ago.

Positive

On Sep 19, 2011, valdev from Boise, ID (Zone 6b) wrote:

Planted 2 or 3 of these a few years ago, and not only are they thriving in my "Hell Strip" (the long, narrow gravel-filled area between the sidewalk and the road, which rarely gets watered even in this seasonally hot and extremely arid climate), but they're throwing babies around everywhere - even across the sidewalk and driveway - which makes me happy. only thing that makes me sad, though, is that the flowers are only open in the morning, closing up in the afternoon. i wonder why no one has mentioned that? their papery seed heads are attractive, though. i'm always torn between removing them to encourage more blooming, or leaving them on because they look nice.

Positive

On Feb 14, 2011, cloud91977 from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this little gem of a plant! It needs very little care to thrive, is easily divided, reseeds itself politely, glows in the evening sun, and is evergreen in our frost-free climate. Doesn't mind being a little crowded, and, in fact, the plants put on a better show if massed in 3's or 5' with the margins of each plant overlapping another.

Blooms from March to November for us, and makes a lovely addition to cut flower bouquets. The one thing it doesn't seem to like is being moved and/or divided. Ours wilt terribly when lifted, and look sickly for months afterwards, but do tend to surivive if pampered through the stress.

Neutral

On Jul 1, 2008, Cynara from Champaign, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

Just for the record: it's a mistake to assume that "leaves left next to the plant" are not a sign of rabbit damage to this plant. Rabbits, unfortunately, bite off a lot of things that they decide not to chew. They'll come back to the same plant again and again, biting off stems, eating a little, and rejecting the rest. "Yuck. Maybe it'll be tastier tomorrow evening." They're not brilliant, rabbits.

Positive

On May 28, 2008, trioadastra from Ellsworth, WI (Zone 4a) wrote:

Pretty easy to grow from seed, though mine tend to be monocarpic. Very slow to emerge in spring, so mark their location. I accidentally dug one up...

Negative

On May 30, 2007, 1kidmom from Holly, MI wrote:

I ordered several of these plants from a nursery and they are not doing very well. Something keeps cutting the leaves off. Not a rabbit as the leaves are laying next to the plant. Any ideas as to what is doing this? Thanks

Positive

On Aug 22, 2005, gavnomat from Whitehall, MT wrote:

Planted this from seed this year, and it germinated well in unheated propagation tray, and grew easily. Transplanted outside after frost, and it is now blooming. Pretty little flower and this is in a cottage garden setting with evening stock, opium poppies, and Love in a mist.
I have yet to see if it winter's over here.

Positive

On Jun 9, 2004, ambest from Riverside, CA wrote:

This is a great summer blooming plant, I love the color, it is a bluish lavender. I think it is very beautiful planted with evening primrose for a tall meadowy effect. Here in Southern California, it is very hot and dry in the summer, yet this plant takes the heat.

Neutral

On May 24, 2004, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Not real impressed with this plant. It is not very big for 4 yrs. old, just a small plant. Perhaps it's a little tender for zone 4. I keep it only because I like the dried flowers.

Positive

On Jun 7, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

Great perennial for continuous bloom, however it may be a short-lived perennial. I had my first one for 3 years, but lost it this past winter. I'm not sure if I lost it due to the freezing winter we had or if perhaps I should have divided it last fall as it was 3 years old. Luckily I found this plant at Wal Mart today, which is where I got it orininally, and I bought 2 of them. The newest tag says to "divide every 1 to 2 years to promote longevity" & to "avoid wet winter growing conditions", so you see, either of those could have been the problem for me this past winter. Easy care plant, very pretty daisy-like blue/mauve flower & loves full sun (at least 6 hours daily). I consider it to be a medium height plant so I do not use it as an edging. I prefer lower growing plants for that purpose... read more

Neutral

On Aug 15, 2001, talinum from Kearney, NE (Zone 5a) wrote:

An easily grown plant for the border with grey-green leaves and bearing most of the summer attractive violet-blue flowers surrounded by papery silver colored bracts.
With their long strong stems, they are excellent for cutting fresh or for drying. Flower heads are 2" across.
Leaves are mostly basal. Best landscape effects are achieved when plant is massed.
Wet soil is usually fatal

Native to southern Europe