PLEASE NOTE: Since plants are often sourced from the garden to order, sizes do vary a little, depending on how they come out of the ground, but I always endeavour to give a little more rather than less! They are sometimes shipped bare-rooted, but will approximate the size specified (e.g. a 9cm pot).
|Shoo-fly plant, Apple of Peru, Peruvian bluebell|
|Looking very similar to Chinese Lanterns (Physalis alkekengi), but with green/black lanterns rather than the familiar bright orange, and striking black stems, this plant is an annual and although it does seed itself around it is easier to control than Physalis (which multiplies by underground runners and has a tendency to get into everything). The bell-shaped flowers are a lovely blue with a white centre, or sometimes completely white. Any unwanted seedlings can be removed quite easily and are distinctive because the leaves are covered with many tiny black polka dots! Like physalis, the stems and lanterns can be dried for winter decoration. An interesting plant to try. Can tend to sprawl, so may benefit from some light support. As the common name suggests, it is said to deter whitefly so it might be an interesting experiment to grow near fruit and vegetables that are susceptible to invasion. The seeds are enjoyed by birds - in fact they are sometimes added to commercial bird feed mixtures.|
|Sowing and/or growing instructions|
|Very easy to grow. Either sow direct in spring or, for more control, shallowly in modules or small pots, kept moist, under glass in late winter or early spring and grow on until large enough to plant out.|