Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, February 2009
Codonopsis grey wilsonii - by Harold McBride
Shortly after I joined the AGS our now Group President Bob Gordon kindly gave me a seedling plant of Codonopsis convolvulacea, which on his instructions I  planted beside a shrub in the garden.
Two years later in mid -summer I discovered an abundance delightful  of 'starry' blue flowers clambering through the shrubs branches   and so I was smitten !
Over the years  I have grown at least a dozen of this taxonomically confusing species, of which some twine, others are erect or decumbent in habit.
The flowers vary in shape from open stars to bell shaped or tubular, and the colour may vary from white to yellow, green, blue or purple.
I have found Codonopsis very  reliable from seed & this year's AGS seed list offered 14 species so you should have plenty to chose from. As these plants come from  high rainfall areas of Asia they seem to thrive in our Irish climate.


Codonopsis grey wilsonii

  The picture shows Codonopsis grey wilsonii strangling Lucifer (Crocosmia 'Lucifer')