"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Purple, Blue, or Lavender?

I always thought I am quite good when coming to tell the colors (well, at least compare to my husband :))  However, I started doubting this recently because I constantly wondering some flowers' color in my garden, are they purple, blue, or lavender?  Sometimes it is just hard to tell.  What it made even harder is that they change with the light!

So, I decide to put them all here, let me know if you agree with my color judgement?  These are the flowers currently blooming in my garden.

I think this one is blue, but really sometimes I thought I can see the purple out of it.
Salvia farinacea (Mealycup sage)
Same with this one...
Porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)
This is an obvious blue.  Duh, is this why they call it Blue Daze?!
Blue Daze (Evolvulus)

An easy purple:
Mostly purple, some blue??

Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
This is easy, Purple! Just like the name suggested!

Purple Queen (Tradescantia pallida)
Nobody will mistaken this one either...
Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)
Look what I found hidden under the purple leaves of Persian shield?  Blue flowers!  Did not know persian shield can have flower...  Nice surprise!

Persian Shield bloom
Hmmm... this garlic society flower is more lavendar or liac, not the true purple.  In the winter, who would think those green narrow grasslike leaves would produce a nice large cluster of flowers like this?
Society Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea)
Mona lavendar is about to put the show on now....  And yes, it is lavender color :))
'Mona Lavender’ Plectranthus
Have you ever had the same question about your garden flower color as I have? 

Happy Easter and Have a nice weekend!

For other colors all over the world, please check out Katrarina's site at http://rosorochris.blogspot.com/  (This is the last Blooming friday she hosts).


  1. Porterweed is considered a weed, so much that it grows only in the wild. No one cultivates it.
    My fav is the Purple Queen. Very hardy and I can always count on it.

  2. That is some absolutely lovely photos :)

  3. I agree, it is sometimes very difficult to determine what to call a particular color. I guess that's because nearly all colors are actually blends of at least two other colors!
    I do have to put in a plug for Porterweed. I have a large butterfly garden with many different species but the butterflies' favorite plant is the Blue Porterweed. The hummingbirds also love it, and the cardinals come to eat the tiny seeds!

  4. Those are all lovely, vibrant colors whatever they are:) That mealycup sage is so full of blooms!

  5. Wow, Ami! You have quite a blue collection for such a rare color! Excellent photographs as well! I think you have a good eye for color hues. At one time, I worked for a company where color vision was very important, and employees were tested. Not everyone has the same ability when it comes to color vision. Interesting post!

  6. Ami, I see what you mean. In fact, some of what you called blue, I called purple. I think it depends on how much blue or pink is in the color in question. Oh well. I'm ridiculous with color anyway because I insist that I have a purple and yellow (mostly) garden, although there's loads of various colors in it. For instance, anything that may be redish or pinkish...it's purple - just a different shade. Same with the oranges, salmons, etc. - they're a form of yellow. I know it's silly, but this is how I justify my landscaping choices. HAHAHAHA!!

  7. Dear Ami,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! I love your blog too, I can tell that you have a marvelous garden and you really enjoy it.
    Look forward to seeing more and more beautiful flowers from your garden!
    Have a nice weekend!

  8. The iridescent color in your persian shield plants really stand out. Nice!

  9. James: Yes, porterweed is one kind of weeds, but I here we do grow them to attract butterflies, even hummingbirds (although I have not see any yet). I see them self seeding though. I may give them to my friends, or compost them. I love their pretty flowers too!

    I am using the purple queen as ground cover, unique purple color.

    Daniela: Thanks for stopping by and kind words! Welcome!

    Grower Jim: Thanks for comfirmation about the porterweed. I wish someday hummingbirds do come to my garden, or even cardinal!

    NanaK: Yes, that mealycup sage is really a good performer in my garden since fall. I think I should take some cuttings to propagate to other areas of the garden. Love it!

  10. FG: Yes, I love blue and purple color scheme! Everytime I saw the plants in that category, I want to buy it! :) Thanks for the comment about the photograph! I still can not get some color right in the picture, such as purple queen flowers.

    Kimberly: I love your approach of the color justification! Yes, they are just different shades! haha. Actually this morning when I check the blue flower of the persian shield again, it became "purple" for me :)

    muggle: Welcome to visit my garden! It is nice that I can now read a blog in Chinese :) Will sure to visit yours more often now...

    Sanddune: Yes, the metalic color of the persian shield is very unique. I found this color shows the best when growing them in shade (at least partial shade), it tends to fade when exposed too much sun.

  11. Hi Ami, I have this problem too with my blue coloured flowers. For me really blue is Salvia uliginosa or you mentioned evolvolus. Some Agapanthus are blue as well but in a different way. Salvia u.is as blue as the sky on a sunny day no hint of purple at all. But, then they are all so pretty! I love the blues and the purples together. Enough for today, Easter is on its way. I wish you a very happy Easter.

  12. Titania: Yes, they are all so pretty! Blue and purple are always my favorite colors in the garden. Happy Easter!!!

  13. Hi Ami,

    This is a great post. To confuse things even further, when you wear sunglasses, they make blue flowers appear purple :-)

  14. Whatever the color may be, these are some great addition to any South Florida garden. Personally I favor blue flowers, they add a coolness and are easy on the eyes

  15. Hi Ami,
    Really nice photos of all your purples and blues. I think I would say the same thing you did about your choices. The only one of those I don't have is the purple petunia. I don't worry too much about color ~~ I pretty much blend them all ~~ I do however think it's important how they are PLACED together. Have a very Happy Easter and weekend.
    (I remember that header photo from your bulbine post ~~ just love bee mid-air!!)

  16. Noelle: Thanks! I got to try that sun glass trick to see how the color changes! :)

    Belle: Thanks for the visiting and welcome! You are right about the blue color, they does add the coolness to the garden.

    Meems: The "how they are PLACED together" part is what I am still learning, lol! Some initial placement shows a funny effect when they all bloom at the same time. Too bad I don't have too many space to move them around yet. There are so much to learn, and yet so much fun as well!

    Thanks for the kind words about my picture :) I snapped that middle-air-ed bee bulbine picture by accident. I was trying to capture the moment bee stoping on the flower, but it flew from one bloom to the other bloom at the moment I pushed the button!

    Happy Easter!

  17. It's exasperating when plant nursery catalogues enhance plant photos to make them more 'blue' than they really are, but there are some true blue gems out there for sure.
    My father, when unsure whether something was purple, mauve, pink, violet, magenta, fuchsia, simply called anything that wasn't true blue 'murple'. That still cracks me up.
    Lovely photos, none of them 'enhanced' like some of mine were. Bwah hah hah. Happy spring, Ami!

  18. Jodi: "murple"? LOL! Your farther is really creative! Your april fool post real fooled me. That was a great post, although I still would rather someday we can have those blue rose, poppies in real life!

  19. I do agree, colours vary with light and are often hard to determine. The blue flowers of my garden should probably be called purple...
    Happy weekend!

  20. It doesn't help that a lot of purple flowers are referred to as blue by the sellers, does it?

  21. I just loved all your photos - my favourite being the salvia - I think its colour is so intense and I would say its blue. I suppose everyone sees something different in each photo and that probably goes right down the the hue in the particular spot of the flower their eye lands on.

  22. Wonderful photos Ami. It is hard to tell what color the flowers are sometimes, and trying to capture their true color to share online, is hard also.

    Mealycup Sage looks purple to me as does Porterweed. I love porterweed, it's so easy. :-)

    Love the blue blooms in your Persian Shield.

    I love the blue/purple/lavender flowers in my gardens. It makes them feel cooler.

    Enjoy those beauties of yours.


  23. Katerina: I am glad that I am not the only one sometimes think blue/purple could be interchangable :)

    Deborah: No, it does not help. But I guess it is really up to the buyer itself to determine if they like it or not, even it is not a true blue :)

    Rosie: Thanks! Yes, different part of flower also show the different color. Actually right now I am looking out of the window from my office, I can see that Salvia is more purple to me! lol

    FlowerLady: Yes, sometimes the pictures can not reflect the true color of the plants, although I think the ones I posted are almost same as the real ones.

    You are so right about Mealycup and porterweed, which are two plants confused me most, between blue and purple :) Well, I guess it really doesn't matter that much, I love this blue/purple color in my garden no matter what.

  24. I think you did a great job identifying the colors. Sometimes it is hard with the blues and purples. Love that mona lavender...I need to get some of those.


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