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Cupid's Dart (kat-a-NAN-ka: se-RU-lee-a) ASTERACEAE.
This selection will bloom the first year from an early sowing and has medium-dark blue flowers with darker blue centers. A most useful cut flower for the table or for drying with tall wiry stems that are held up above low growing silver-cast woolly foliage. The foliage is long up to 10 inches and thin maybe 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide with a few large teeth and forms a mat over the ground. So they are best grown by them selves in a cluster of five or more plants, which will prevent the foliage from being swallowed up under larger plants and put on a good floral display in the garden. The stems are 2 feet tall and plants put on a prolific display and respond well to deadheading. Plants do well in poor, well draining soils in full sun, were they will be free flowering during July into fall. Short lived over the winter in wet or heavy soils, doing best in well drained - dry chalky soils. The genus name means something to the effect 'love Potion' and they were used in magical potions by ancient Greeks to nab the one that got away. In flower arrangements it is still use to symbolize love.
The species is native from south western Europe including Italy. As an interesting note-this plant, like many others, illustrates the fact that you cannot determine the winter hardiness of a plant by the geographic location that it comes from. Lightly cover seeds and use F70, germination 7-20 days with flowering in 15 weeks from sowing.