An unusual plant discovered in China by Ernest Wilson and described by Stapf in 1911.
It is easily grown but is rare and sought after. In essence it is a choice herbaceous, clump-forming rhizomatous perennial for a cool, humid, shady site in a leafy soil, the sort of site that suits other woodland species.
It makes a small, congested, knobbly tuber and then a basal cluster of 3-4 rounded, hairy leaves; which in established plants can measure 25 x 15cm each. Newly established or stressed plants will be considerably smaller.
The flowers, in May-June, are held on 25cm pink stems and are produced in panicles as the rounded buds open widely, to yield nodding fleshy flowers of pale blue with the petals curled round the central boss of light violet anthers.