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This native European woodland plant appears in many guises, some dwarf and others very tall, with flowers in shades of pink and red. The Excelsior group is a particularly fine strain, producing flower spikes with large trumpets in clear colours. These blooms are attractive to bees. It's a popular biennial for shaded places that self-seeds readily. Seedlings can be transplanted if they're in the way. It's handsome and easy if watered well in dry weather, and looks spectacular at the back of a border. If your soil is dry and free-draining, incorporate plenty of organic matter into the soil before planting and surround with a thick mulch in spring.
Cultivar: Excelsior group
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Pink
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: February to April
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