Plant of the Month for January, 2016

Phyteuma scheuchzeri header
Phyteuma scheuchzeri

 (ty-the-YOO-muh  SHOYK-ser-ee)

General Information:

Phyteuma scheuchzeri  is an unusual, easy to grow rock garden plant, with a bizarre flower. It is a close relative of the bellflower but does not look anything like it. I think the flowers look more like an allium. The flower head consists of a number of flowers all opening at the same time. Each flower is quite spiky in appearance, creating a big spiky ball of rich blue colour.

Phyteuma scheuchzeri; photo by Robert Pavlis

Phyteuma scheuchzeri in full sun; photo by Robert Pavlis

The rampion  is native to the mountains of Europe and is also commonly called Oxford rampion and horned rampion.

It grows easily from seed and forms a nice compact clump. I have it growing in both full sun and part shade and it seems to like both conditions. It will be shorter with more light and less water.

The plant is rated to zone 5, but it has overwintered in a raised trough during 2013 and 2014 – two very cold winters for zone 5. I’d expect it to survive zone 4.

Phyteuma scheuchzeri; photo by Robert Pavlis

Phyteuma scheuchzeri; photo by Robert Pavlis

Phyteuma scheuchzeri; photo by Robert Pavlis

Phyteuma scheuchzeri, older plant in part shade; photo by Robert Pavlis

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 30cm (1ft)

Bloom Time: mid-summer

Natural Range: Europe

Habitat: rocky mountains

Synonyms:  Phyteuma ovatum, Phyteuma corniculatum, Rapunculus scheuchzeri


Light: full sun to part shade

Soil: moist to well drained

Water: regular moisture

USDA Hardiness Zone: (4?) 5 – 8

Propagation: seed, division

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): usually


Sow @ 20°C. Seed germinates within 3 months.
allard 010Phyteuma scheuchzeri close up POOK 2014Phyteuma scheuchzeri POOK 2014Phyteuma scheuchzeri
Robert Pavlis