March 2009 Plant Profile: Omphalodes verna

A charming, but rarely utilized spring ephemeral puts on a show in late March and well into May. This creeping member of the borage family thrives in a wide variety of soil types and prefers part-full shade to dappled light. The straight species is an ethereal blue, while the white form brings frothy frosty white flowers in profusion. It has been an outstanding perennial for dry shade with its shallow root system and it thrives growing under trees. O. verna is best used as a mass verses a specimen planting. The result is far more dramatic especially if interplanted with spring flowering bulbs.

Location: Bed 7 and Dry Shade Garden under large Oak.
Family: Boraginaceae
Origin: Central- Southeast Europe
Height: 4-6”
Spread: Can spread indefinitely, but moist clumps stay around 2-3ft. wide
Bloom Time: Early Spring
Bloom Color: Blue form and white form
Sun: Part Sun – Full Shade
Water/Soil: Medium moisture and amended soil with organic matter. Fairly drought tolerant and carefree once established.