Native to the Mediterranean region, this clump-former is perennial in USDA Zones 7-11, growing with vigor as an annual in colder climates.
Some 3 to 4 feet tall, blue throatwort boasts large, dome-shaped umbels composed of countless miniature individual blue-violet flowers.
They're said to be lightly scented, but I haven't noticed any fragrance.
The botanical name, Trachelium is a reference to the neck: it was once thought to cure throat maladies.
Blue throatwort is not a fusspot!
Rather, it's adaptable and drought tolerant, growing in my garden in both rich soil and lean, performing most vigorously in sun, although it has emerged and bloomed in a shadier spot, too.
Staking is often necessary. I stake loosely, and the tallest stems take on an interesting curvature.
Expect plants to die back after a couple years, but look for new, self-sown specimens that may appear close by. Deadheading results in second flush of blooms, although flower heads are smaller and not as impressive. Old-fashioned throatwort makes a lovely dried flower if you cut the long, strong stems as they reach full bloom. Strip away the leaves and arrange them in a tall vase, where they will dry naturally over time. In a year-round garden border, the blooms of throatwort complement the deeply toothed, silvery foliage of honey bush (Melianthus major), and the felted gray leaves of Plectranthus argentatus.