Featured Plant - Lisianthus
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Someone should write an ode to the Lisianthus. Sometimes called Eustoma or just Lizzy, it boasts an abundance of desirable qualities. Its color is so rich and mysterious, the words “kiss the sky” come to mind. It’s purple with a capital P, the kind you’d find embossed in an ancient manuscript. Multiple blossoms spill open successively, like a pinwheel parade, mesmerizing with layer upon layer of silky petals. The line is supple and varied as a willow, and just as resilient and enduring.
For ikebana, Lisianthus possesses all the very best qualities. It’s sturdy yet supple, upright but whimsical, lasting and ever blooming for often up three weeks. Great for a gentle, feminine arrangement or staggering, all-out drama.
Also called Texas Bluebell, Catchfly or Prairie Gentian, the perennial Lisianthus should be grown in a sunny location and attentively maintained. Its seeds must be sown along the surface of rich, well-drained soil, not buried. Flowers begin to appear in early summer but blooms can last throughout the season. It’s outstanding in containers, window boxes and hanging baskets.
Most often the color of kings, it can also be found and used to great effect in pink, white, yellow, even bicolor. Its flowers are single or double petaled.
As with most flowers, the Lisianthus has symbolic meaning. Some say it's an expression of adoration, others old-fashioned values. Whatever its significance, Lizzy is an ikebana essential.