Veronicastrum virginicum 'Fascination'
This plant is very easy to grow, disease-free and has a long flowering season, well into autumn, if deadheaded regularly. The tall flower spikes are packed with nectar; a real fast-food bar for bees and hover flies. It has been given the name ‘Fascination’ because the flowers fasciate or are widely splayed (from the Latin word meaning band or stripe). This is a rather bizarre anomaly caused by a disruption in the growth of cells in the tips of the flower. Incidentally, plants that have the Latin name ending in ‘forma cristata’ suggest that this fasciation has been selectively propagated as a desirable characteristic. Can you find any such plants in the garden?
Cultivation: it likes moderately fertile, moist yet well-drained soil in sun. Divide in the spring.