Soil: humus-rich, moist but well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil
Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
Flowering period: August to October
Hardiness: fully hardy
A wonderful deciduous shrub that produces its exotic-looking flowers over a couple of months from mid- to late summer onwards. As the name suggests, the flowers are a beautiful shade of lavender, but the base of each petal has a deep maroon blotch, which gives the overall colouring a bit of depth. A fine stand-alone specimen, or reliable addition to the shrub border, it will also make a great informal hedge or screen.
Garden care: To encourage a bushy habit prune young plants hard in late spring. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. Once established it requires little if any regular pruning.