Prunella

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Prunella grandiflora is a cousin of dead-nettles, salvias, and thymes, and belongs to the mint family. It is native to mountainous areas of central and southern Europe, where it is found growing on limestone soils in dry and rocky environments. This semi-evergreen perennial grows from a creeping base, sending up ascending or erect stems that root at the nodes when in contact with the ground. The flowering period of Prunella extends from May to August. The plant produces short and compact spikes of 2cm (1in) wide flowers, in a deep violet-blue colour, well above its foliage. The leaves are ovate, villous, 3cm (1in) wide, petiolate, entire or dentate, strongly veined, and a beautiful dark green. This perennial is well-suited as ground cover, in borders, rockeries, or even in containers and pots. To successfully cultivate it, it is sufficient to choose a moist but well-drained soil in a sunny or partially shady position. It can be combined with alpine plants such as androsaces, Dianthus erinaceus, erodiums, or perennial Geranium cinereum.

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