Isotoma (Star Flower) eye-so-TOW-mah
Isotoma axillaris is a heat-loving plant native to Australia that is hardy in zones 7-10 but is easily grown as an annual in colder climates. Plants have a compact, mounded habit growing 12-15″ tall and wide. The soft, ferny green foliage has a fine texture. A profusion of star-shaped flowers are produced just above the foliage throughout the season until frost. The fragrant, 1-1½”wide flowers are produced in shades of blue, pink or white. The plants shed spent flowers on their own so do not need deadheading, although shearing in midseason will encourage more flowers on a more compact plant. Use laurentia in borders and in containers as a filler plant. As a low plant it is useful as a soft edger along beds or paths or as a ground cover if planted densely. It can be grown in hanging baskets or as a bedding plant, and looks nice spilling over walls. The soft blue of the flowers combines well with other pastel-colored flowers and the fine texture of its foliage contrasts nicely when placed near plants with coarse foliage, such as heucheras.