Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens'
Garden Plant Information

Cerinthe major purpurascens

Shown growing with Eryngium giganteum ‘Silver Ghost'


Cerinthe (also called honeywort 'Purpurascens')





General description

Hardy annual grown for unusual purple-blue flowers and leaves flushed with purple. Fits in well with other annuals and perennials and, whilst an annual, will seed itself about, though isn't invasive.


Said to be annual but one plant here has come through the winter so far and doesn't appear to have suffered frost damage (as of 24th January 2006).


Noted for attracting beneficial wildlife.

Season of interest

Flowers in summer.

Key horticultural features

  1. Habit - slightly lax. H&S: 60cm.

  2. Stems - round, smooth, pale green with pink-purple tinges.

  3. Leaves - rounded, alternate, without petioles, leaves enclose stem. Older leaves are green-grey and younger growth is green tinged with purple.

  4. Flowers - showy bracts hold pendent clusters of tubular pink-purple flowers marked with yellow at the tip and inside.

  5. Seeds -  black, rounded, shiny, about 2mm across.

Cultural details


Sunny and sheltered.


Any reasonably fertile, well drained soil.


Fully hardy annual.


Cut back after flowering. In cold areas move plants in containers to a sheltered spot near the house.


Generally pest and disease free.


Sow seed in spring and plant out after danger of frost has passed. The seeds are quite large and easy to handle.