This is a plant to remind you of the magical ways in which plants transform themselves. During the winter an ugly, gnarled, woody root lies, unpromisingly, on the cold soil. But with a bit of warmth in the air the fat, pink buds break through. A few weeks later stems of jagged, glaucous leaves push themselves upwards and outwards. From a neat, compact hedgehog of a plant 25cm tall the tips of the stems flare out into lime-green stars. You could never call this a beautiful plant but there is something very attractive about its tenacity and powerful annual renewal. . It is native to cold, mountainous areas of Europe and Central Asia and needs well drained soil and a sunny situation to thrive.