Anchusa capensis

Anchusa capensis

Common Names

Vergeetmynietjie (afrikaans)
Cape Forget-me-not (english)

Taxonomy

Family BORAGINACEAE
Genus Anchusa
Specie capensis
SA Plant Number
Basionym Anchusa capensis

Description

Anchusa capensis is a drought hardy annual or bi-annual that grows vigorously, is upright, and has bright green, rough leaves and stems. It has a fairly weedy appearance.

The stems of brilliant blue flowers are borne throughout Spring and Summer and into Autumn. Each little blue flower is beautiful when looked at closely. They have a white feathery centre (these are actually scales that protect the reproductive parts of the flower). A host of pollinating insect species, including butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Plant the Cape Forget-me-not in amongst Namaqualand Daisies, or where it can contrast beautifully with yellow, pink or white flowered plant species. It has been recorded as a useful plant in traditional medicine, as well as a dye being made from the flowers. The leaves are also eaten as as a type of "spinach" by the Sesotho people.

A very easy plant to grow. Plant in full sun, in open ground, where it will seed itself readily. It can get a bit rampant and scraggly after the growing season, so needs cutting back. Plant in well drained soil.

Size: to 50cm

Wildlife

Uses

Edible:
Eaten as a type of spinach by the Sesotho people
Dye:
A dye can be made from the flowers
Landscaping:
Beautiful bright blue flowers excellent addition to flowering meadow garden.

Distribution

Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and into Namibia and Lesotho
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