Adenophora sp. (Ladybells)
I can't imagine my garden without Adenophora, or Ladybells. This lovely perennial was given to me over 20 years ago by my mother-in-law by way of a gardener in Asheville, NC. Unfortunately, I cannot be specific about which Adenophora this one is, as there are quite a few, but I am certain that it is one of the best perennials I have ever grown. This beautiful violet-belled bloomer has grown well for me in sun/partial shade and even full shade, growing from two to four feet tall, which makes it ideal for the back of the perennial border or somewhere in the middle. Ladybells' stems are dotted with lovely violet, trumpet-shaped flowers in mid-summer, and cutting the stems back after the initial blooming will encourage a repeat performance. Some say that a few varieties of Adenophora are rapid spreaders; for me, this one spreads gently, just enough to enable me to move it around my garden. I have found Ladybells to disappear entirely in drought and/or oppressively hot conditions, only to return when normalcy prevails, so a spot with shade is advisable. Sun/part shade, moisture-retentive soil in Zones 3-8. Quarts.