Italian Bugloss, Italian Alkanet, Summer Forget-Me-Not
Anchusa azurea

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Anchusa (an-KOO-suh) (Info)
Species: azurea (a-ZOOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Anchusa italica

Category:

Alpines and Rock Gardens

Perennials

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Medium Blue

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Regional

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

, (2 reports)

Long Beach, California

Richmond, California

Rohnert Park, California

Denver, Colorado (2 reports)

Zion, Illinois

Van Buren, Indiana

Fort Benton, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Carson City, Nevada

Wallkill, New York

Grove City, Ohio

Springboro, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Maryville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Morgantown, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

3
positives
4
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Sep 8, 2014, hermero from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted seeds about 5 years ago. Transplanted along a cyclone fence with good southern exposure, zone 8b. This plant comes back each year and except for a little water every so often, I do nothing except enjoy the phenomenal color. It does not seem to spread, though that would be a bonus.

Negative

On Sep 20, 2013, krissypoo from Long Beach, CA wrote:

this is so pokey. :( very difficult to handle. the furry leaves are extremely irritating to my skin. wear thick gloves!

Neutral

On Jun 1, 2012, burien_gardener from Burien (SW Seattle), WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Concerned the cultivation info on this plant is in error. Google info says the plant can't be divided, but is propagated by root cuttings and seeds.

Curious why my plants and flowers are bigger, floppier, and more dense than those pictured by other posters?

Negative

On Aug 18, 2010, Katlian from Carson City, NV (Zone 6b) wrote:

I found this plant rather unpleasant because the stiff hairs are strong enough to penetrate skin and then break off, leaving the fiberglass-like strands embedded in unwary fingers. Wear gloves when handling, particularly the dead leaves.

It has also been extremely difficult to get rid of this plant as it will grow back from it's deep tap roots. My plants were in pots set on the ground and the roots grew down into the ground. I broke them off when I moved the pot and a large clump of plants appeared there next spring.

Positive

On Jul 13, 2010, FBSPANKEY2 from Fort Benton, MT wrote:

FLOWERED NICELY 2ND. YEAR

Neutral

On Nov 22, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Italian Bugloss, Italian Alkanet, Summer Forget-Me-Not Anchusa azurea is Naturalized in Texas and other States.

Neutral

On Apr 3, 2005, SalmonMe from Springboro, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Bloom can be prolonged with regular deadheading. Deadhead to lateral bud after flowers fade. Foliage becomes unsightly after blooming is finished, and plant will benefit from being cut down to the ground at this point. Plant only in spring. This plant requires staking in most cases and easily qualifies as a high-maintenance "fussy" plant.

Positive

On Nov 15, 2004, 8ftbed from Zion, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

In zone 4/5 I found I needed to cut completely to the ground before snow. Those are the only ones to survive winter. The ones not cut at all and ones only cut to the basal clump apparently did not like the moisture trapped in the foliage that would then freeze/thaw.
I also discovered they respond to being cut back when flowers on the main stalks begin to fade. Cut all stalks to the ground and new flower stalks will be produced and bloom at a shorter heigth like delphiniums and centaurea montana.
The color of blue is irreplaceable.

Neutral

On Aug 9, 2001, eyesoftexas from Toadsuck, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

A brightly colored hardy herbaceous perennial with lance shaped midgreen leaves, rough and hairy stems, and large bright blue flowers simular to forget-me-nots displayed in large heads during midsummer.

Cultivation: Deep, fertile, well-drained soil in a suuny position is best. Anchusas need support from twiggy sticks. In autumn cut down to soil level.

Propagation: It is easily increased from stem rootings. These are best taken in winter, cutting roots in 2 inch long pieces. At the sem end of each cutting, make a flat cut at right angles to the stem, while at the root end form a slanting cut. Insert flat ends upwards in pots and put in cold frame.