Isotoma Starshine Blue

New to our Sunnyvale garden in 2020 is Isotoma ‘Starshine Blue’ Laurentia. It features showy powder blue star-shaped flowers with lavender overtones rising above the foliage from late spring to early fall. Its attractive deeply cut ferny leaves remain dark green in colour throughout the season.

Starshine Blue Laurentia is often used as a ‘filler’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Isotoma axillaris is a heat-loving plant native to Australia that is hardy in zones 7-10. Starshine Blue Laurentia is recommended for the following landscape applications: Accent, Mass Planting, Rock/Alpine Gardens, General Garden Use, Container Planting.

We purchased ours from Yamagami Nursery in San Jose.

Naming

The common name laurentia comes from its previous classification as Laurentia axillaries; that name, as well as another synonym, Solenopsis axillaris, is still often used in the nursery industry. This species in the bellflower family (Campanulaceae) has other common names including blue star or star flower.

Planting & Growing

Starshine Blue Laurentia will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 10 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. Treat it like an annual.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season.

Details

  • Isotoma starshine blue
  • Height:  8 inches
  • Spacing:  10 inches
  • Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade
  • Hardiness Zone:  7-10 (treat as annual)
  • Other Names:  Rock Isotome, Blue Star Flower, Solenopsis,

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