T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Cerinthe major (Honeywort)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       (unplaced)
Family:      Boraginaceae
Genus:      Cerinthe
Species: Cerinthe major
Common names: Honeywort, Blue Honeywort, Blue Wax Flower, Blue Shrimp Plant, Cerinthe major 'Purpurascens'

Cerinthe major is a native of the Mediterranean. Though from this warm region they do survive in zones with cooler temperatures, where winters get down to zero degrees.
Cerinthe major leaves are a faintly mottled blue-green, ending in nodding blue bracks (specialised leaf associated with a flower) embracing blue-purple petals. The flowers are bell shaped and are nectar-rich and are visited continuously by bees.
After black seeds have ripened the plant "explodes" the seed capsules and the seeds are thrown a considerable distance.
This efficient self seeding method as made many counties class Cerinthe major as a weed.  It is listed in the Global Compendium of Weeds. In the Landcare Research New Zealand (2001) Plant Names Database it is class as naturalised.