Our story begins a few years ago when I spied a mysterious beauty in the pages of a catalog. Now, understand, the purpose of this catalog was to seduce the reader with tales and promise of unfathomable beauty and what I'd call 'exotitude'...exotic attitude. The pictures contained within this catalog succeeded in inebriating me with a plant lust so powerful and possessive that I had no defense when it came to resisting its charm! And now, I can confess to the world that, although I've said I'm not a huge fan of white flowers, I have now eaten those words and savored their exhilarating taste. The overpowering, seductively alluring flowers of Michauxia campanuloides have made me a true believer in the powerful beauty of white flowers.
Michauxia campanuloides also commonly called Michaux's Bellflower or Rough-Leaved Michauxia is a short lived perennial or biennial in the Campanulaceae family that comes to us from the Israel, Lebanon, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean.
Michauxia campanuloides can grow to be up to 6 feet tall with wide spreading stems up to 3 feet if not supported. Supported, it takes on a tall, narrow, upright profile. It starts off with a compact basal clump of bristly leaves that produce stout stems that telescope upward to form arching canes jeweled with solitary, nodding white flower buds reminiscent of white pastry bags filled with fondant. When the buds open in late spring and summer they reveal an elaborate array of arresting flower form... a crown-like calyx, curly semi-corkscrewed petals, and a crazy octopus-like stigma. It's almost a visual overload. Provocative indeed! Also, a stunning candidate for those who dig cut flowers.
If the fascinating flower form weren't enough, Michauxia campanuloides flowers exude a deliciously dreamy fragrance of delicate hyacinth! Now that's pure heaven in my book. This biennial plant is fairly easy to grow. It likes full sun to part-shade conditions, well-drained soil, regular to low water, and is hardy down to around 0 degrees fahrenheit/-17 degrees celsius. This is one floral fantasy that must be experienced to be believed. Once you witness it's beauty, I'm positive it too will become one of the top flowers on your list. Find it! Grow it! Soon you won't have to look that far...stay tuned...