Monday

Puya alpestris Turquoise Metallic Flowers

Wow!  The plant kingdom at its flamboyant best. 

The highly ornamental Sapphire Tower is a hardy bromeliad relative native to regions of Argentina and Southern Chile along the slopes of the Andes Mountain Range.
It grows in areas with relatively dry and well drained soils with plenty of sunlight and does not require a lot of water.


It produces 2-3 foot wide rosettes of marginal-spined leaves that are silver-gray and striped beneath. 

When mature, the 4-5 foot tall, thick branching spikes produce long-blooming flowers that are neither sapphire blue nor sapphire green; they are an intense combination of the two colors. Bright orange stamens provide a lively contrast. A truly unique and incredible flower color. Blooms faster than the related Puya berteroniana.
In South America, the fleshy hearts of Puya flowers are frequently shredded, similar to cabbage in coleslaw and eaten in salads.
This plant makes a good specimen accent in a dry garden. It also works well in containers. Zones 8-11. 


Seeds found here:  Puya 30 Seeds for sale

Plants found here:  Puya Plants for sale

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Friday

Red and White Peppermint Candy!

This intriguing half hardy alpine produces crimson striped, funnel shaped buds like tiny striped barbers poles! The striking petals open to reveal pretty white flowers with crimson margins. A fascinating talking point for a frost free greenhouse. In exceptionally mild areas it can be grown outside at the front of borders or in sheltered rockeries.
Grows up to 8" tall. Prefers full to partial sun. Blooms from July until October, giving you months of enjoyment of this unique garden sorrel.. Hardy in zones 7-9.


Does not produce seeds!  

Seeds on Êbay, offered mostly from China, turned out to be grass seeds. Not a shock, China is well known for their "rainbow rose" seeds, which does not exist either.


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Thursday

Fruit Salad Plant Monstera

Native to the rain forests of Central America, Monstera is a popular foliage plant easily recognized by its large glossy leaves that are dissected with deep splits and perforated with oblong holes. Other common names are Ceriman, Swiss cheese plant (or just cheese plant), splitleaf philodendron, monster fruit, monsterio delicio, monstereo, Mexican breadfruit, locust and wild honey, windowleaf, balazo, and Penglai banana. 

It is said that the ripe fruit of Monstera taste like a combination of banana, pineapple, and mango, hence the name Fruit Salad Plant. To get to its pineapple-like flesh, the scaly exterior must be flaked off and delicately prepared. 


The fruit is ripe when the hexagonal plates fall off. That happens slowly, from the base of the fruit upwards, and the fruit may be eaten in stages for this reason. Unripe fruits should not be eaten and is said to cause irritation and rashes.
 
Makes a great house or container plant. 

Hardy zone 10+, however, in zone 8 and 9 you can trim larger leaves back in fall and cover the remainder of the plant, it comes back just fine every spring.

Fresh seeds are seldom available but found here:
Monstera Deliciosa Seeds
 

Best sown indoors at 70-80°. Seeds will germinate in 30-60 days. Take care to procure seeds that have been freshly harvested and are shipped wet, being sure to sow seeds immediately upon arrival. It is not recommended to sow these seeds out-of-doors.
Transplant seedlings when there are at least two sets of true leaves. Monstera is tender below 59°, so it can only be grown outdoors in a few areas of the United States. Outdoors, site it in partial shade and provide a tree, arch, or pergola for it to climb. It makes an ideal house plant as it tolerates dry air and low light. Indoors, provide indirect light, a rich soil kept evenly moist, and 65° nights. The large leaves show dust in a conspicuous way, so clean them from time to time to keep them shiny.


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Beautiful and rare Guaiacum

What a stunning show.

Guaiacum Officinale, is a small, highly ornamental tree /shrub introduced from the West Indies. 

Growing to about fifteen feet in height, Guaicum Officinale produces five-pealed lavender to blue and white blooms and is the national flower of Jamaica. It is a glossy-leaved evergreen with twisted trunks. 

Lignum-vitae is also reported to be a medicinal plant and was listed as an endangered species by the IUCN in 1998. It has been over-exploited for its valuable wood and medicinal products. Originally, the plant extract, called guaicum, was used for treating rheumatism, tonsillitis, snake bites and gout. In modern times, guaicum has been used to synthesize guaifenisen, which is an expectorant found in many cough syrups. Frost tender, Zone 9-11.


Seeds Available

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Tuesday

Ornamental Rose of Siam Ginger

Just beautiful! 

An absolutely stunning species known to generate more blooms per square yard than any other Etlingera. The foliage is only 6-9 foot high and prefers partial shade.
Plants of the ginger family called Zingiberaceae are a diverse group of perennial herbs with over 50 genera and 1500 species spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions.

All gingers are closely related to heliconias, flowering bananas, cannas, and marantas. Although gingers are found throughout the forests of Malaysia, they are relatively new to our landscaping industry. Due in part to their large showy flowers, they have gained rapid popularity as garden elements. Excellent and long lasting cut flower.


Fresh ginger seeds

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Australian Apple Berry Billardiera

A wild and very unusual evergreen climbing shrub. Also known as climbing blueberry, Cherry Berry or Climbing Appleberry, Billardiera longiflora, it was described by French botanist Jacques Labillardière in 1805. 

It is a small Australian vine found in cool, moist forests from southern New South Wales to Tasmania, where it is native. Deliciously scented, small bell shaped green yellow flowers are sometimes purple tinged and produced in summer. Electric purple blue, edible fruits follow in the autumn and winter.
Happy in borders and containers, can be grown on a trellis or over shrubs where the woody stems will twine and climb. Prefers well-drained soil in partly shaded sheltered site. Height 6Ft. Hardy perennial. 


Seeds available here

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Wednesday

Rare Willow Gentian asclepiadea

Gentiana asclepiadea is a species of flowering plant of the genus 'Gentiana' in the family Gentianaceae, native to central and eastern Europe. Hundreds of upturned deep blue trumpets on arching stems with willow like leaves bloom through summer and into late autumn. The easiest, longest lived, latest flowering and most rewarding of the taller gentians. Requires partial or full shade and moist soil. Gentians are long-lived perennials that thrive with little care. Plants seldom need division and dislike root disturbance. Zone 5-7.

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Thursday

True Fragrant Corkscrew Shell Vine Cochliasanthus Vigna caracalla


Super cool Collector Vine Cochliasanthus Vigna caracalla! Definitely a to "drool" over Plant. Very hard to find and accordingly priced.

Cochliasanthus caracalla is a leguminous vine from the family Fabaceae, originating in tropical South America and Central America. The species is named caracalla, a corruption of the Portuguese caracol, meaning snail.
  
There are two similar looking plants called Vigna caracalla.  Both produce pretty, spiral-form flowers in soft pastel shades. And the foliage of both is heart shaped, looking much like that of pole beans which makes sense because these are legumes and are therefore related to beans. In fact, both plants will produce slender, bean-like pods under good growing conditions.
Note: The Purple Snail Vine (not pictured), Phaseolus giganteus, is fairly widely available. This is an aggressive, sometimes invasive plant that tends to root where the branches touch the ground and can be difficult to eradicate. The flowers of the Snail Vine lack the fragrance that represents a key reason gardeners choose to grow these plants. Snail vines are often erroneously sold and labeled as Vigna caracalla.
The true Corkscrew Vine (or Shell Vine - pictured), Cochliasanthus Vigna caracalla, is difficult to find but worth the effort. This vigorous and well-mannered garden plant produces very cool spiral flowers with an incredible scent that's reminiscent of Chinese wisteria and noticeable from 15 feet away. The intricate, curly flowers are produced for several months during the summer. Originally from South America and grown by Thomas Jefferson at Montecello, these are memorable plants. If you've seen one in a private or public garden, locked on the amazing scent and fanciful flowers, and always wanted one of your own, now you can make that happen.



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Monday

Tower of Jewels Tajinaste Rojo Echium wildpretii

One flower that is sure to make jaws drop is the Echium wildpretii of tower of jewels flower. The amazing biennial can grow from 5 to 8 feet tall and is coated in the second year with brilliant pink flowers. If sheer size doesn’t impress you, the silvery foliage and prominent anthers, give the flowers and foliage a sparkle when sunlight hits them.
This variety of Echium is native to the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco. In this region the weather is mild with sunny warm sea breezes in summer and cool, but not freezing, winters. Echium tower of jewels starts its first year of life as a grayish to silver rosette set low to the ground and in the second year, it produces a tall, thick flower spire with slightly ragged silver foliage below. The spire bursts with cerise to salmon pink-cupped flowers arranged in rows upon rows. Each of the nearly one

hundred blooms has white anthers reaching out from the throat of the flower.
These catch the light and along with the foliage, making the plant appear to be dipped in pixie dust.
The Echium tower of jewels flower will give you years upon years of breathtaking beauty and architectural delight. Zones 8+. 


Seeds found here

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Rare Native Purple Milkweed Asclepias purpurascens

The hard to find Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is a herbaceous plant species. It is in the genus Asclepias, making it a type of milkweed. It is native to the Eastern, Southern and Midwestern United States *similar to the range of the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Asclepias purpurascens is rare and sparsely distributed throughout its range, and is in imminent danger of extirpation from New England. Its prognosis is extremely pessimistic here unless substantial conservation action is taken.
The plant gets its name from the flowers that first develop a pink to magenta color but then turn darker purple as they mature. 


Seeds available here:



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Tuesday

Black Heirloom Juicing Corn from Peru - Morado Corn

This is an absolutely beautiful dark dark purple corn. 

Also known as Kculli this ancient type of corn is particularly known in Peru and parts of South America and one of the oldest corn in the world, and a staple food of many societies since prehistoric times. Purple Corn bears well-sized ears with large kernels that ripen to a deep purple-black color. 
 
People of the Andes make a refreshing drink sweetened with fruit, sugar or honey from the purple corn called "chicha morada" which is now recognized as a nutritive powerhouse due to its phenolic and anthocyanins content. The Anthocyanins are a type of complex flavonoid that produce the blue, purple or red colors of the corn. Phenolics are known to have many bioactive and functional properties. Purple Corn has higher C3G antioxidant capacity and antiradical kinetics than blueberries.
 

Also highly desirable for corn meal and corn pudding as well as a natural fabric and hair dye and cosmetics.  Start indoors as this corn requires a long growing season 100-120 days.  

US Source Available Seeds

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Monkey Puzzle Tree Pehuén Araucaria araucana

Very unusual and exotic looking prehistoric specimen Tree. The tree is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. 

Because of the great age of this species, it is sometimes described as a living fossil. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered by the IUCN in 2013 due to its declining abundance. 

Distinctive, armor-like, scale-like, triangular leaves, persist for 10 to 15 years, sometimes longer on the trunk, ovate-lanceolate in shape, 1 to 2 inches long, shiny green Cones are erect, globular, dark brown, and 4 to 7 inches long by 3 to 6 inches wide, scales have long triangular recurved points; developing in 2-3 years and falling off at maturity; seeds are brown to orange, triangular in shape, 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, the edible nut is long and narrow with 2 small even wings that are denticulate at the top. 


It is the national tree of Chile. Hardy to zones 7-11.
 
Araucaria araucana Seeds
 

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Christmas Bells Sandersonia aurantiaca

Sandersonia aurantiaca, known as christmas bells, is a climbing bulbous plant from South Africa with attractive orange-yellow, bell-shaped flowers. 

These beautiful and long-lasting flowers were once common in their wild habitat of Swaziland, but are now threatened due to the expansion of agricultural activities.
Sandersonia is a half hardy, perennial. Grow in a sheltered, sunny site with well-drained soil. As its name suggest, the flowers have a very unusual urn-like shape, and form at the tips of slender, bow-shaped stems. Highly prized and long lasting cut flower.


Named after John Sanderson, 19th century Scottish journalist and amateur botanist who in 1851 discovered the plant in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Available Seeds.... 


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