Colquhounia coccinea – Himalayan Mint

Good things come to those who wait.  This photo is the flower of Colquhounia coccinea or the Himalayan Mint.  Although it has proved hardier than many of our more exotic plants it has been extremely slow to flower.  In fact it hasn’t flowered at all until now, in fact none of our colquhounias have flowered.  As it takes very easily from cuttings we have over the last few years propagated several plants.  In a desperate attempt to get this plant to flower and find a place where it was content enough to do so, I have put five specimens at varying positions around the garden.   One plant tucked in the back of the Road Bank has very kindly, if not a little late, come up with the goods.  It is an evergreenish shrub as it will drop leaves when stressed, too cold or other such misfortunes.  It has aromatic pale green soft leaves, which seem to be sensitive to wind burn, therefore not ideal in a north facing coastal garden like Cliffe.   Named after Sir Robert Colquhoun who was a lieutenant in the British Army in India in 19th century; he was a plant collector and a patron of the Calcutta Botanical Gardens.

So something worked, maybe it liked the dry spring and the wet August, maybe this position provided it with what it was looking for, maybe it just decided to give it a go this year.  It doesn’t really matter, it was definitely worth waiting for.

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