Someone gave me these as a “thank you” present at the weekend.  She bought them from a bucket at the roadside.  I had never seen these flowers before – they look like agapanthus flowers but grow singley and have too long stems.  I think they are brodeaia laxa or triteleia laxa “Queen Fabiola” (nobody seems quite sure which), commonly known as Fool’s Onion or Ithuriel’s Spear.  The Hidcote lavender matches its periwinkle blue colour exactly. Brodeaia laxa is native to northern California where the wild form grows up to 20″ tall.

Queen Fabiola is the Spanish aristocrat and widow of the Belgian King Baudouin I.  She was named after the Catholic saint, Saint Fabiola, a twice divorced Roman woman who lived in the 4th Century and was a friend of St Jerome   After the death of her second husband, she renounced all her worldly goods and thereafter devoted herself to the care of the poor and sick. 

Roadside Flowers