|1||15C+||Indoor||Grow as a houseplant or under heated glass.|
|2||10 to 15C+||Indoor / Outdoor||Grow indoors, or outdoors in summer in a sheltered spot|
|3||5 to 10C||Tender||Grow outdoors in summer, and in a heated glasshouse in winter.|
|4||1 to 5C||Tender||Grow outdoors or under glass without risk of frost.|
|5||-5 to 1C||Half-Hardy||Hardy in coastal/mild/sheltered areas. Will not tolerate hard/sudden frost. May require winter protection in situ. such as fleece or straw mulch.|
|6||-10 to -5C||Hardy||May suffer at altitude, central/northerly locations, harsh winters, cold gardens and when grown in pots.|
|7||-15 to -10C+||Hardy||Will survive most severe winters but may be at risk in central/northerly locations and in pots. Top growth may be destroyed but will usually re-grow.|
|8||-20 to -15C||Hardy||Will survive severe winter, but may need protection when grown in pots.|
|9||-20C & Colder||Very Hardy / Hardy||in the severest European climates.|
Originating from China
A stunning species bearing huge, lush, feather-shaped bright green deciduous leaves that can reach over a meter long. They densely clothe the branches, emerging as intense blue buds. They maintain hues of grey/green before they mature to mid-green, eventually becoming a rich golden yellow in the autumn before dropping. Usually forming a multi-stemmed shrub, sometimes a thicket, its slender stems can arch over, weighed down by the weight of foliage, flower, and fruit.
Exotic bell-shaped flowers appear in mid-summer, held on long branched sprays. They emerge as long pointed buds before opening to form elegant, slender, and gracefully flared petals of a greenish-yellow colour, with a blue flush at their bases. The uniquely colored individual blooms open in succession on the branched inflorescence, making a long-lasting display. The beautiful flowers are often neglected when this species is described because of its headline feature: its huge deep steely blue seed pods. These are produced in late summer, emerging as bright green fruits with blue tints. They mature to blue and then silvery grey. Their bulbous sausage shape can reach up to 15cm long and resemble a bloated dead man’s finger. They have an edible soft fleshy clear gel-like pulp inside that has a watermelon-like flavor, containing large black seeds that are not edible.
A jungle essential, this species has a refined and elegant enough poise to look at home in traditional English and oriental-style gardens. It is easy to grow in any soil, but best with shelter from strong winds in full sun or part shade.
Height and spread after 10 – 20 years 5m x 4m.