Nicandra physatoides

This hardy annual from Peru Is vigorous and strong growing. Its spreading shoots bearing ova! mid-green leaves with finely'toothed wavy edges. The pale-blue. bell shaped 4cm [1 J^inJ wide flowers have white throats, and appear from mid to late summer These are followed by non-edible adpie-shaped green fruits that can be dried for home decoration. II is sad to ga:n the name physaloides from the resemblance ot the fruits to those of Physalisalkekengi, commonly called Chinese Lantern or Bladder Cherry Height: 75-9Qcm (2J£-3ft) Spread: 38-45cm (15 18in) Cultivation: Rich, moist soil and a sunny position are the keys to success. When preparing the flowering position, fork in plenty of well-rotted compost. Propagation: During late winter or early spring, sow seeds 3mm [Jfcih) deep in trays of loam-based seed compost kept at 10°C (50°F). When the seedlings are large enough to handle.prick them off into seed boxes and put them in a cold frame to harden them off Set the plants in the garden during late spring. Alternatively, sow seeds in late spring where the plants are to flower. 6mm Kin) deep Subsequently. thin the seedlings to 25-30cm (10-12in) apart.

greenhouse. To grow such plants sow seeds thinly In 13cm (5in) wide pots of loam-based compost in a cold frame during late spring or early summer When they are large enough to handle, thin the seedlings to three in each pot Make sure the greenhouse is not kept too hot flight Nicandra physatoides

This tall vigorous branching hardy annual needs space in which to develop properly. The pale-blue, bell-shaped flowers are borne over many weeks, from mid to late summer

Height: 18-23cm (7-9in) Spread: 15-20cm (6-8In] Cultivation: Although this annual grows in ordinary garden soil, it does even better in fertile, moisture-retentive soil in full sun or slight shade Sandy soils enriched with plenty of compost are also suitable. Propagation: Durng spring and early summer, sow seeds 6mm (Jain) deep in their flowering positions. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them to 15cm (6inj apart. As well as being suitable for sowing in the garder. this annual can also be grown for flowering in pots in a coid

Nicandra physaloides gains one of its common names. Shoo-fly Plant, from its ability to repel flies. It makes a lovely choice for the back of a border, with its attractive bel.-shaped flowers

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