The Blue Lace Flower
This is one of the most remarkable flowers I have ever encountered. From the feathery foliage in late July or early August, emerge 1-2 inch in diameter blue flowers that look exactly like blue Queen Anne’s Lace. Deer do not like it. It grows well in a container. It is drought resistant and it is not fussy about the soil in which it is grown, but its most remarkable characteristic is that when you cut its flowers they will last for at least three weeks in a water-filled vase. The Latin name is Didiscus coerulea. It is believed to be a native of Australia, but it was introduced into the US in the early 1800s. Joseph Breck in the first book written about American flowers, Breck’s Book of Flowers, in 1851 called it”…an elegant annual…producing fine blue flowers…the size and shape of a large quilled Aster…” This flower was a staple of the American cottage garden until the 1950s when it abruptly disappeared from American gardens because it did not transplant well and so could not be grown in flats. It will continuously bloom for you until late in the fall when only a very hard frost will end its life. Perhaps now, with the resurgence of interest in growing from seed, this delightful flower will once again find its place in the gardens and hearts of Americans.