Saxapahaw, NC

The Flower of Carolina


  • Product Info

    Purple Culvers Root (Veronicastrum virginicum var. caeruleum)
    Plantain Family

    Culver’s Root is not only a high value pollinator plant, it is an architectural delight in the garden. Dark green leaves occur in progressively smaller whorls all the way up the stem. In mid-summer, flowering spikes start emerging from the very top of the plant. Candelabra-like flowers are made up of hundreds of tiny purple flowers with distinctive orange stamens that open gradually from the bottom up. Bead-like seed capsules that retain the candelabra structure replace the flowers in the fall and winter. Seeds and foliage turn a striking black in the winter, adding color and texture to the winter garden. This is one of those plants where the buzzing is audible due to the high number of pollinators that visit. It is a particular favorite of wasps, and you are likely to see several different wasp species at any given time visiting. Planting in groups of 3 makes a beautiful display in the garden, but it is also effective as a specimen plant. It can take ~3 years to really mature, but it is well worth the wait. Planting in full sun in moist soils is ideal, but it is fairly drought resistant when established.

    Blooms: Violet, 4-6 weeks, June-July
    Leaves: Dark green, 6” lanceolate, whorled leaves
    Height: 4-6'
    Space: 2'
    Soil: Average-Dry-Moist
    Exposure: Full sun-Part sun
    Fauna: Bees, flies, wasps, butterflies, seeds for small animals
    Seeds: Candelabra like seed heads are beaded and turn a striking deep black that is attractive all winter

    Deer Resistance: High

    Zone: 3-8
    Native Status: NC Native, uncommon in the Mountains & Piedmont
     Unknown ecotype, seed grown