This 2'–3' tall, versatile herb is exquisite in the garden. In addition to attracting bees and other beneficial insects, it can be used as a cover crop. Edible, blue and sometimes pink flowers with a cucumber-like flavor can be used fresh to garnish dips, salads, and summer drinks, or candied with sugar for later use. The leaves and stems are also edible, delicious steamed like spinach or chard. Fairly drought tolerant once established.
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Native: Africa, west Asia, and Europe
Hardiness: Annual; re-seeds readily
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Plant Dimensions: 2'–3' tall, 12"–18" wide
Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks before your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 40°F, ideally 70°–90°F, or any time in mild climates.
When to Start Inside: 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date. Not recommended; sensitive to taproot disturbance. Start in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly into ground.
Days to Emerge: 5–20 days
Seed Depth: ¼"–½"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 12"
Row Spacing: 24"
Thinning: When 2" tall, thin to 1 every 12"
Harvesting: Leaves are best harvested when young; old leaves are tough and hairy. Flowers can be harvested any time.