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What is Jasione?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 07 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Jasione is a genus of flowering plants with a native range in the cool climates of Europe. Several species are grown as ornamentals in gardens in many regions of the world. It is possible to propagate from seeds and divisions, both of which can be obtained from other gardeners, as well as through nurseries and catalogs. These plants are generally easy to care for and can be a good selection for a low maintenance garden in a harsh climate.

Members of the Jasione genus grow in low mounds or tufts, depending on the species, producing simple green leaves and ball-shaped flowers on stalks. The flowers are spiky and purple to blue, depending on the species. They are sometimes compared to scabious, because some scabious species look similar, although these members of the bellflower family are not related.

Many Jasione species are perennials. Others may act as biennials or annuals, especially if they do not like the climate. All species readily reseed themselves, although if the plants die off every year, it can be advisable to collect seeds and sprout them indoors to support the seedlings while they develop. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones five and six are ideal for cultivating these plants, as they are sensitive to very warm weather, as well as extreme cold. Outside these ranges, gardeners have variable success, depending on the species.

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Full sun to partial shade is recommended and the soil should be loose and acidic. Jasione thrives in rocky, sandy, and other poor soils and has low water requirements. These two traits can make the plants well suited to rock gardens and gardens in regions where the soil is very poor. The plants usually attract bees and butterflies and will flower for an extended period of time, adding color to the garden, as well as attracting pollinators. Good companion plants include other plants tolerant of poor and harsh conditions.

To sprout Jasione from seed, a warm, humid environment is required. Greenhouses can work well, but many people have success sprouting seeds in the bathroom or kitchen. The seeds should be started in rich, moist soil, and gardeners can use peat cups for sprouting. When the seedlings are ready for the outdoors, they can be transplanted container and all into the ground or into a larger growing container. Dividing established plants is recommended every few years to prevent crowding, and this can provide an opportunity for propagation.

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