Blue is not the colour you associate with foliage but if you can bend your eyes just a little around the silver – grey through to green spectrum there may be some surprises.
In Praise of Blue Foliage
- A very distinctive colour attracts the eye in a uniformly green garden
- Blue works very well with dark coloured leaves such as purples
- Blue tends to increase the perceived depth of view making blue recede.
- A fine blue line separates glaucous leaves and silver foliage.
- Perception of colour is best left to the beholder
Blue Leaved Primulas
- The bloom or farina on may primulas can look blue. See the Primula kewensis at the foot of the page.
- Auriculas often display the blue dust.
- Primrose ‘Arctic Blue’ has deep green leaves but on a frosty morning their foliage turns to shades of icy blue
Perennial Plant selection from The Oregon
- Acaena ‘Blue Haze’
- Cynara cardunculus (cardoon)
- Dianthus gray blue
- Dicentra ‘Stuart Boothman,’ ‘Langtrees’
- Eryngium (more gray-green, but you can’t beat those blue bracts)
- Euphorbia (lots, particularly ‘Portuguese Velvet’)
- Hosta (tons, check out ‘Albiqua Drinking Gourd’ as well as classics such as H. sieboldiana ‘Elegans’
- Mertensia asiatica,
- Ruta graveolens ‘Jackman’s Blue’ (rue)
- Sedum ‘Bertram Anderson’ ( blue bruised purple), S. telphium, S. cauticola and some other succulent plants
- Abies pinsapo ‘Glauca,’ ‘Hortmann’ (blue Spanish pin fir)
- Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’ (blue atlas cedar)
- Cupressus glabra ‘Blue Ice’ (Arizona cypress)
- Eucalyptus (close your eyes and pick)
- Hebe (quite a few silver-blue, including H. albicans, H. x wardiensis and H. pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’)
- Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Carpet,’ J. virginiana ‘Blue Mountain’
- Melianthus major
- Picea pungens (Colorado blue spruce — an awesome selection)
- Rosa glauca
- Andropogon virginicus glauca ‘Valdosta Blue’ (good old gorgeous bluestem)
- Elymus magellanicus (a very blue form of Lyme grass)
- Festuca cinerea ‘Elijah Blue’ (blue fescue)
- Helictotrichon sempervirens (blue oat grass; check out ‘Sapphire’)
- Panicum virgatum ‘Dallas Blues,’ ‘Prairie Sky’ and of course ‘Heavy Metal’
- Leymus arenarius