Boraginaceae family nemophila genus
Known as Rurikarakusa in Japanese, nemophila is an annual herb native to North America. The plant grows up to 20cm tall and produces flowers between 2 – 3cm in size. The small flowers mean nemophila usually plays a supporting role in gardens but at Hitachi Seaside Park the sheer number of flowers creates an almost neverending sea of blue that flows seamlessly into the blue Spring skies.
- Area size
- about 3.5 hectares
- Total number of plants
- around 5.3 million
- mid-April to early May
- Miharashi no Oka HIll
Where does the name ‘nemophila’ come from?
Nemophila comes from the Greek ‘nemos’ meaning ‘small forest’ and ‘phileo’ meaning ‘to love’. Nemphila are often found growing around the edges of woodlands, earning them their name. The variety of nemophila grown in HItachi Seasdie Park is the ‘insignis blue’ variety.
Nemophila are sometimes referred as ‘baby blue eyes’ in English.
How are the flowers grown?
In November, after the kochia bushes are over for the season, the kochia are removed and the soil is renewed Nemophila seeds are then planted and covered with white sheeting to protect the plants from frost. As Spring approaches, the plants are watered and any weeds are removed until the nemophila are ready to flower.