Horminum pyrenaicum alboviolaceus
Spires of closely packed white flowers with violet lips, do indeed look like mini towers of tiny dragons.
Kids love looking down the throat of the dragons to see their pretty lips and throats.
In fact their lips and throats are marked out to guide the bees into Horminum pyrenaicum alboviolaceus Dragon Mouth (phew what a dragon’s mouthful), but let’s not spoil the fun.
Spires of dragons wearing violet lipstick
A steady succession of dragon spires bloom over spring and summer, with a repeat in autumn.
Useful evergreen foliage rosette
The foliage is on decorative duty all year round, all quilted and puckered, and arranged in very pretty rosettes of deep green leaves.
So even after the long flowering season is over, they are still worth their little corner of the garden.
Unusual but not hard to grow
Gardeners who live with frost are secure with Dragon Mouth, as it is frost hardy to well below -10C.
Plant in Full Sun in cooler districts, but will appreciate some Dappled Sun and Shade, or Afternoon Shade in hot districts.
Perfectly happy in normal, average garden soil as well as a wide range of soil types.
However well drained is essential. Because the dragons will desert you if they are waterlogged for too long.
Tolerant of a wide range of soil pH from alkaline to acid. Though Dragon Mouth loves lime, and will perform even better if given a handful of lime in spring and autumn (unless you already garden on limestone).
Where to use in the garden
My answer is anywhere you can jam one in, because they are so pretty.
But traditionally they are used for garden edges, narrow beds, rockeries, or decorative containers.
Because each plant makes an evergreen clump to approximately 20cm. wide, you can plant multiples if you wish to make a groundcover or an edge.
Growing: Horminum pyrenaicum alboviolaceus
– Height with flowers: Spires of flowers to 25cm. approx
– Width: Evergreen clump to approximately 20cm. But you can plant multiples if you wish to make a groundcover or an edge.
– Position: Full Sun in cooler districts, but will appreciate some Dappled Sun and Shade, or Afternoon Shade in hot districts.
– Soil: Perfectly happy in normal, average garden soil, though it will tolerate soil pH on either the acid or alkaline lime side of neutral. Loves lime, and will perform even better if given a handful of lime in spring and autumn (unless you already garden on limestone). Must be well drained, dislikes being waterlogged.
– Frost: Very frost hardy to well below -10C.
– Growth: Evergreen perennial rosette, always remaining neat.
– Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, small nectar sipping birds, and butterflies all make busy use of the trumpet flowers.
Blue-purple flowers are particularly attractive to bees, as they can see those colour wavelengths of light very well, and so find the flowers more easily. Hence the lovely lips on Purple
– Care: Easy and low maintenance when in a suitable position.
– Deer & Rabbit resistant: Rabbits and deer seem to prefer other fodder, though a hungry rabbit will tackle almost anything.
– Fragrance: Sadly none.
– Origin: Native to limestone slopes along the border between Spain and southern France; and from Northern Italy and into Austria, where it grows on rocky slopes and in close companionship with other grassland plants.