A genus of about 35 species of North American perennials. Prominent among them is B. australis, which is properly revered as one of the great backbone plants available to American gardeners. It is a tall (3-4ft), rugged character whose intense blue flowers appear in June above handsome, gray-green leaves that remain an attractive feature of the garden all summer. Bloom is followed by prominent dark seedpods that complement the foliage. Plants look well on their own against walls and fences, or combined with Peonies, Bearded Iris, Poppies, and other June bloomers in a border. In full sun (required even in the South) and well-drained soil, plants are extremely long lived. They can hardly be pried out of the garden once established.