Green can be a quiet color of sorts. It conjures feelings of restfulness and balance. Now add a dreamy, 'draizy', romantic burst of lilac purple color to that green and you'll create an extravagantly restful experience. Like lying about in a chaise lounge dappled in the warming mediterranean sun with a view of an inviting azure blue atlantic ocean. One way to capture this experience is to know and grow Cheirolophus canariensis sometimes referred to as Centaurea canariensis. Let me tell you, this plant is almost an exclusive to The Plant Provocateur because it is rare, endangered, and unusual to find in cultivation. I saw this beautiful perennial herb blooming in the late afternoon sun in a garden and fell under its spell. The 2 inch globe-like bursts of powdery purple flowers, set against the rich green fern-like foliage, look as if they would appear only in a daydream. Something about them seems to capture the eye, calm the senses, and invite you to celebrate the sheer beauty of nature.
Cheirolophus canariensis comes to us from the island of Tenerife off the northern coast of Africa and south of Spain. Tenerife is part of the Canary Island chain. Coming from a habitat such as this further gives Cheirolophus canariensis some glamorously exotic garden cred. This perennial herb, as it is botanically known, grows into a shrub-like form up to 3 to 4 foot tall and wide. It has elegantly, dissected fern-like foliage and blooms from late spring through summer. It likes full to part sun conditions, well-draining soil, regular moisture, and is hardy down to around 20 degrees fahrenheit/-6 degrees celsius. If you can find this verdant vision of fashionable foliage and beguiling bloom, get it, and grow it! Check out botanical garden plant sales. Who knows...maybe one day The Plant Provocateur will have it for the offering. What would you think about that?