Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Veronicastrum Sibiricum

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Veronicastrum sibiricum Flower (30/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Veronicastrum sibiricum Flower (30/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.8m

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 4a – 9b

Family: Plantaginaceae

Veronicastrum sibiricum is a large, upright herbaceous perennial. Its dark green leaves appear in whirls of up to 6 leaflets, its leaflets are oblong to broadly linear with serrate margins, up to 15cm long to 4.5cm broad. The stems of this plant are erect. Its purple/ pink flowers are terminal and appear in the form of spires which are up to 20cm long. The roots of this plant are rhizomes.

Veronicastrum sibiricum, commonly known as Culiver’s Root, Siberian Veronicastrum and Kugai-sou, is native to Russia, northern China and Japan. In its native habitat it grows in grassy areas in mountains and lowlands

Veronicastrum sibiricum (30/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Veronicastrum sibiricum (30/06/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Veronicastrum is named for Saint Veronica, who in Christian mythology gave Christ her veil to wipe his forehead while carrying the cross. Sibiricum is derived from the Latin meaning from Siberia.

The landscape architect may find  Veronicastrum sibiricum useful in an informal prairie type scheme or as part of a mixed herbaceous planting scheme.

Ecologically, V. sibiricum is attractive to pollinating insects.

V. sibiricum prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Veronicastrum sibiricum requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring or autumn.

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