Erinus alpinus, the fairy foxglove,[1] alpine balsam,[2] starflower, or liver balsam, is a species of flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae, native to Central and Southern Europe.[3][4]

Erinus alpinus
Erinus alpinus.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Erinus
E. alpinus
Binomial name
Erinus alpinus

It is a semi-evergreen perennial, with 10 cm (4 in) stems of narrow blue-green leaves and clusters of rose-pink flowers at the tips in spring and summer. It is popularly grown in rockeries or alpine gardens; and it occasionally becomes naturalised outside of its native range, especially on old stone walls, shown well from a well-known location for this species on the old packhorse bridge at Carrbridge in the Highlands of Scotland [5]

It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6][7]



  1. ^ Annie's Annuals Retrieved October 8, 2015
  2. ^ Plants: USDA.Gov October 8, 2015
  3. ^ "Erinus alpinus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved Apr 26, 2012.
  4. ^ "Encyclopaedia of life entry for Erinus alpinus". Retrieved Apr 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Ukwildflowers link". Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  6. ^ "Erinus alpinus". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 36. Retrieved 6 February 2018.