Family: Rubiaceae
Common Name: Woodruff

This genus of mostly herbaceous perennials includes many species native to the Mediterranean, Europe and Turkey. They grow well in alpine rock gardens.


A. orientalis, an annual with rough leaves and strongly perfumed blue flowers in summer, grows to 30 cm (12 in). A. tinctoria is a prostrate type with white flowers, also in summer. Its roots are the source of a red dye.


These plants need moist, but well-drained, soil. Propagation is generally by seed, although the perennial types can be divided. All species do well in cool regions if planted in a shady spot.


Wide moisture and temperature range, but best in areas with cold winters.