GREATER HONEYWORT

CERINTHE MAJOR 'PURPURASCENS'

Cerinthe major

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8multicolour
flower
flower8green
flower
flower8purple
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8indigo
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspurred
stem
stem8round

3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A strikingly blue, hardy annual garden plant which can spread. Grows up to 60cm high.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers appear throughout the summer. Leaves glaucous green.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in short drooping clusters at tops of stems.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Branching pale-green stems with alternate glaucous-green leaves, which are amplexicaul, clasping the stem each side.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers purple and tubular, similar to those of Russian Comfrey and other coloured Comfreys even to the extent of protruding stamens. They are surrounded by blue-purple sepals (which are separate rather than fused).


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Nearer the flowers the leaves gradually become concolorous with the blue sepals changing from glaucous-green to blue-purple.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves fleshy with prominent central vein. Stamens can be seen protruding from flowers hidden by blue-purple leaves.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flower is tubular and is surrounded by several separate sepals, which are in turn interspersed with leaves, all blue merging purple.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves pale-green the further they are away from the flowers.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The tubular flower has 5 indistinct petals. within are 5 blue-purple stamens surrounding a stigma which will eventually extent way beyond the confines of the flower opening.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves alternate and amplexicaul, clasping the stem.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Just one prominent vein on a leaf.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves are edged with many almost imperceptibly tiny teeth.


3rd May 2014, a roadside flower display, Adlington, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves also covered in slightly raised paler pimples.


Not to be semantically confused with : Honewort (Trinia glauca) [a rather rare umbellifer plant with similar name] nor to Honey Garlic (Nectaroscordum siculum) nor to Honeycup (Zenobia pulverulenta) nor with Honeybells (Nothoscordum borbonicum)

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) [a plant with similar name from the Caprifoliaceae family].

There are a few Cerinthe species in and around the Mediterranean region, none are native to the UK. They belong to the Lithospermeae Tribe of the Borage Family Boraginaceae. The species depicted has blue rather than a yellow flower because this is the garden plant 'Purpurascens', but this will still self-seed readily and spread.

The leaves are amplexicaul, wrapping each side of the stem but connecting to the stem only in the middle. Flowers are tubular, similar to those of Comfreys, even to the extent of the stamens protruding a longish way out of the open mouth. The flowers are highly attractive to bees and other insects which may benefit.

This plant is a garden plant but it does readily self=seed and can appear and spread as a garden throwout in the wild.

No references to it are to be found in either 'A new Flora of the British Isles' by Clive Stace, nor in 'Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland' by Fitter, Fitter & Blamey, but is found in the BSBI taxa list and in John Somervilles 'British Fild Flowers' website.


  Cerinthe major  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Boraginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Borage family8Boraginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cerinthe
Cerinthe
(Honeyworts)

GREATER HONEYWORT

CERINTHE MAJOR 'PURPURASCENS'

Cerinthe major

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]