Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Shoo Flower

If you look closely you can see black spots on the cotyledon and  early leaves of the Shoo Flower plant. Thats how I always know what it is , even when only a cm high. My beloved Echium seedlings however have spots on their first but not cotyledon leaves and hairy leaves, very Jacob and Esau.
  I have had a Shoo Flower plant in my various gardens since 1981 when I was given the first one to keep in the greenhouse because it kept white fly at bay , hence its silly name.  The seed capsules (like Cape gooseberries) are very easy to store and filled with hundreds of seeds, like other members of the Potato family. So back-end I just fling the seeds all over the garden and wait for the spring excitement of seeing where they come up.
Whether it does repel white flies I don't really know ,as I always seem to get white fly eventually , especially here in the Frozen North as ventilation of the greenhouse is a delicate business. It might be 29 degrees in Brighton but it will be 21degrees in Filey. When the sun is out and the greenhouse reaches 29 degrees I am probably in Beverley and even forgot to open the door and have to do rescues when I get home.

I love this plant. Mine are all about 4'high now so I only have a few. 

AsideWe have a tiny garden and I have half a dozen 'Only the lonely ' Tobacco Plants, already each is 2'across. I have dozens of Echium pininana x wildpretii  plants all growing inches over night it seems , tall and sturdy . I want to get them through the winter, well at least one of them so that I can brag about it on my Facebook Site. I have 6 different varieties of Echium at the moment, . Only one is  hardy, my E. lusitanicum spp polycaulon. 

Back to my Nicandra , My best Shoo Plant. If I am very careful and manage to dry it properly it will be tall enough and branched enough and interesting enough  and light enough to be the Christmas Tree substitute in the downstairs sitting room . 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You really are a serious gardener aren't you.
    Lovely picture of the Nicandra. Never tried to grow them myself but can imagine how good they would look grown and dried. Good luck with that.

    My garden got 2 or 3 torrential showers at long last. Just about in time to save the lives of some of my parched shrubs and roses. Even the five different coloured Buddleias are a universal crisp brown.
    Temperature in my office at 10.46pm is 86 degrees.