Ceratostigma willmottianum

Plant of the month: October

A delightful shrub: bountiful clusters of striking blue flowers, contrasting beautifully with its steadily reddening leaves at this time of year. Named by Ernest Wilson, Ceratostigma is from the Greek word keras (a horn) and stigma, alluding to the horn-like branches of the stigma of each flower. Willmottianum is in honour of a Miss Ellen Ann Willmott – a famous amateur gardener who created a lavish garden at Warley Place (Essex) in the late 19th century. Naturally occurring in much of Asia, this low-growing deciduous shrub would serve excellently in a mixed border, providing both summer and autumn interest.