Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Craving chocolate

Last week, I spoke at the Beaumont Council of Garden Clubs monthly meeting, where one of the members asked if anyone had a chocolate plant (Pseuderanthemum alatum) or knew someone who did. I offered to put the word out.

The chocolate plant, also called chocolate scented daisy or green eyes (for its attractive set of green calyxes that are good for dried arrangements) is native to the southwest. The leaves are copper/brown with a sprinkling of silver. It's a low-growing plant (12-18 inches tall) that puts out pretty purple flowers on 18-inch racemens, blooming at night, giving off a chocolate scent. It does best with partial to full shade in moist, well-drained soil. Let it dry slightly between waterings.

The chocolate plant is easy to root - thus the gardener's request - or can be grown from seed. It self seeds and if flowers aren't deadheaded, will spread freely. If you have one, let me know, and I'll pass the info along.

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