This New Zealand introduction created quite a stir when we planted a decent patch of it in the Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne. It makes a shrub some 2 metres wide and 1.5 metres tall from which 2 metre tall columns of deep cobalt blue flowers are produced in spring.
I first saw this sea holly flowering splendidly in the purple borders at Sissinghurst Castle more years ago than I care to remember. It produces masses of flowers with metallic blue central cones and a spiky ruff. The overall effect is more discreet than the bold blue forms.
There can’t be a finer berried shrub than this when it’s in full autumn glory. Masses of deep pink, almost red berries, make such a spectacular display that visitors to the garden invariably rave about it.
This is one of the best groundcovers for dry shade where it will make suckering 40 cm tall evergreen stems clothed in handsome blue-green foliage. During spring the whole is covered by heads of lime green flowers.