I have never been very good at pronouncing the Latin names of plants. I start off quite well and then tend to slide into mush. This can be problematic as on a daily basis I am asked the names of many plants in the garden “what is the name of the blue plant next to the pink one?”. The difficulty is getting the words out of my head and into my mouth in a recognisable manner. To try to lessen the impact of my tendency to gobbledygook there are labels everywhere. These however are frequently moved, buried or lost and pointing at a piece of plastic isn’t really acceptable. So I take a deep breath and make a valiant attempt, try to look confident and I can usually wing it.
There are three plants however that I have off to a tee. One is Metasequoia glyptostroboides (but no Dawn Redwoods in our garden reducing the opportunity to show off by one third), another is Kirengeshoma palmata (coming soon to a blog in your town) and finally the above, Strobilanthes attenuata. Strobilanthes attenuata, also known as Blue Nettle, comes from Nepal. Certainly not a show-stopper but serves as an excellent ground cover plant for shady places. It layers itself as it travels through the bed but in a restrained manner and needs no maintenance except for the requisite chop back, feed and mulch once a year that most of our herbaceous plants receive. Go on, shout it out loud “Strobilanthes attenuata!”, its very rewarding.