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Trichostema lanatum

Woolly Blue Curls, Romero and Blue Curls.

1Gal Container (Up to 0)

Woolly Blue Curls is a three to four foot evergreen shrub with flowers violet in fuzzy spikes in May-Aug and narrow aromatic leaves. Woolly Blue Curls is native to dry slopes, south coast ranges of California. (I've seen it as far north as San Benito.) 

It is native on sites that range from serpentine clay to gravel with rainfall from 14-45". Some companion plants are Artemisia californica, Eriogonum fasciculatum, Penstemon centranthifolius, Nassella cernua, Quercus douglasii (between), and Quercus agrifolia (just outside drip line). One of the most unusually beautiful combinations is groupings of Artemisia californica interspersed with individuals of Trichostema lanatum, between trees of Quercus douglasii. This shimmering blue of the blue curl flowers, with the silvery gray foliage of the Artemisia, against background of the muted blue of the Quercus douglasii, is like nothing I have ever seen.

Trichostema lanatum, Blue Curls, Romero, etc., needs full sun, good drainage, no water after established. Cold tolerant to  10 deg.F(maybe even 0F) with no foliage burn. It will burn to the ground at -5 F. but usually recover. More of a problem for many people is its need for perfect, absolutely perfect, SUMMER drainage. Standing water will kill it, areas of much summer rain will kill it, soil amendment will kill it, fertilizer will kill it. DROP DRIP, drip irrigation will kill it in a season or so.  If you have a clay soil , plant it so water cannot stand. A ity-bity 'mound' of a 1/4 inch is enough so the water can't stand.  On bad years deer browse this plant heavily.

The flowers and foliage sell it easily. The flowers are royal blue, fuzzy, 12" clusters and excellent for cut flowers.  Both the flower and foliage has a sweet fragrance like freshly cut cedar with a bouquet of lavender.

Plant in your soil, water well once/week indirectly (first year only), put a rock or boulder next to it and get the vase ready! Mix with Salvia Pozo Blue', Encelia californica, Desert mallow (Sphaeralcea spp.) with Salvia Gracias' in the foreground.

AND, did I mention, they smell wonderful? A pine forest meets a chaparral glen. That perfect campsite, your back yard.

Trichostema lanatum tolerates serpentine and deer.
Trichostema lanatum is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Trichostema lanatum has color green, is evergreen and has fragrance.
Flower of Trichostema lanatum has color violet.

Communities for Trichostema lanatum:Chaparral.

ph: 6.00 to 7.50
usda: 7 to 10
height[m]: 1.00 to 1.50
width[m]: 1.00 to 1.00
rainfall[cm]: 31.00 to 100.00

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Edited on Feb 10, 2014. Authors:
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