Native to central and southern Europe Erinus alpinus or alpine balsam is a charming alpine perennial with evergreen rosettes. It rarely grows larger than 10 cm wide and 10 cm high.
In late spring and into the summer, it produces a joyful profusion of flowers in bunches of light pink stars.
Its cultivar, Erinus alpinus 'Doctor Hähnle', blooms bright red.
Also known as fairy foxglove, Erinus alpinus is fairly easy to grow in the sun or slight shade. It particularly likes well-drained, averagely fertile soil and to be planted in an alpine rockery environment, such as a crack or hole in a rock, on scree or a bed of gravel, in paving or a trough.
It is an ephemeral perennial which easily reseeds in a rock garden, gently spreading to form ground cover.
Botanical Magazine, t. 289-324, vol. 9: t. 310 (1795) [S.T. Edwards]
src: Peter H. Raven Library/Missouri Botanical Garden
- 10,5cm pot
- Hardiness zones : zone 6-10
- Height: less than 10 cm
- Plant spacing: 15 cm
- Flower colour: red
- Flowering period: spring flowers