Collected originally on an Alpine Garden Society trip to Ipiros in Greece, this rarely-seen, showy, hardy perennial opens bright heads of deep reddish-mauve flowers in loose sprays during summer, above the evergreen rosette of basal foliage. If grown in a very well-drained spot, this plant will slowly evolve into a tight rounded shrub, and considering its origin, it is very well adapted to a dry situation.
For best results, sow immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. We sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination, as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, often waiting for natural spring germination, hence giving them a full season of growth.