PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Parahebe (Parahebe perfoliata) a.k.a. Digger’s Speedwell

We haven’t grown this for about 20 years but rediscovered it in the vault and now we’re in love all over again. An evergreen perennial that justifiably is assumed to be a Eucalyptus (which it is not) just happens to be native to New Zealand. Yes that’s the land of Eucalyptus, but still, Parahebe is not a Euc. What it is, is a very distinctive looking evergreen perennial that makes your garden look uber cool all year.

The blue-grey-green leaves grow in opposite pairs and completely encircle the stem so it almost looks like someone threaded discs on a string. It is happy growing in full sun or light shade. In sun it will be more upright to about 2 feet. In shade it will scramble along the ground and flop over a wall if one is nearby.

In mid summer, the branch tips extend into 6 inch long finely tapered spires that droop at the ends. Tiny blue-purple flowers open successively from bottom to top for weeks. The purple blooms set against frosty blue-grey leaves is stunning.