Thursday

Worlds Hottest Chili Pepper

The Carolina Reaper, originally named the HP22B,is a cultivar of chili pepper of the Capsicum chinense species. It is red and has a gnarled, lumpy pod with a tail like a scythe.[2] As of 2013, Guinness has dubbed it as the hottest chilli in the world, surpassing the previous record holder, the Trinidad Scorpion.

Bred in a Rock Hill, South Carolina greenhouse by "Smokin" Ed Currie, proprietor of the PuckerButt Pepper Company in Fort Mill, the Carolina Reaper has been certified as the world's hottest chili pepper by Guinness World Records since August 7, 2013. The original crossbreed was between a Ghost pepper (a former world record holder) and a red habanero called 'Red Savina' and is named 'Reaper' due to the shape of its tail.

The official Guinness World Record heat level is 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), according to tests conducted by Winthrop University in South Carolina. The figure is an average for the tested batch; the hottest individual pep
per was measured at 2.2 million SHU.


Hot Pepper Seeds Source

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Exotic Climbing Pandanus

Native to Tropical Asia, Malesia and Philippines, Freycinetia is an evergreen specimen climber with stems that can grow from 1-6 foot long. The slender roots of Freycinetia grow along the stem attaching the plant to the tree, shrub or trellis on which it is growing.

The leaves of Freycinetia cumingiana are dark green, linear-oblong, and leathery and can grow up to 12-15” long. The male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are found on different plants and both are densely arranged within cylindrical spikes (inflorescences). Clusters of 3 or 4 inflorescences containing either male or female flowers are borne at the ends of branches above several showy pinkish-orange bracts that form beneath the inflorescenses.

Flowers are good for cutting. Tender Perennial. Protect from frost. Suitable for indoors.
Syn: Freycinetia multiflora
 

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Tuesday

Alpine Tufted Horned Rampion Physoplexis comosa

Wow, something very unusual...

From a fat, fleshy rootstock grow tufted rosettes of shallow to deeply toothed, reniform leaves. The erect to decumbent stems have smaller, short-stalked, lanceolate leaves and are 2-4” inches long. Tight, globular heads of 20 or more flowers, each to 1” inch long, are held at the ends of each stem, and each flower is a delicate object in itself. A pale lilac inflated flask or club-like base that, as it tapers to a very thin neck, changes color to a deep or almost blackish purple. From the end of the thin neck protrudes the deep purple forked and twisted stigma.
It grows in narrow, lofty crevices of limestone cliffs in the southern Alps and the Dolomites to around 2000 m, where the roots creep through any narrow cracks and anchor the plant firmly to the rocks. There is no humus in the crevices, but a very sandy substratum. It prefers to grow on shady, damp, limey rocks and does not like low winter temperatures nor dry, hot summers, but a humid and cool climate. Very rarely white forms or red colored may occur. Zones 5-8.
This is not an easy plant to grow. It needs slug protection and is best placed in a crevice or containers.


Seeds found here....

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Thursday

Elephant Ear Roxburgh's Fig

The Elephant Ear Fig tree is an impressive Fig species and it makes a great indoor plant for large rooms. Roxburgh's fig is native to India, Nepal, China, and Southeast Asia. 

This is a evergreen to semi-deciduous, spreading, large shrub or small tree reaching 15’ feet tall and as wide.
Ficus auriculata is the Fig tree with the largest leaves in the rain forests of the Chinese Yunnan province. 


The young evergreen leaves are starting intensely red, and turn the greenest when reaching their ultimate size of up to 20” inches length. It can also easily be trimmed and the plant reacts with even more shoots and leaves on a thicker stem. The new growth is a deep red. Figs form in clusters on the trunk and larger branches, are green and red on the inside. 

The whole fruit tastes fairly sweet. It is full of an attractive jelly-like substance, which is much sweeter than the pulp. The absence of acidity, however, makes it slightly flat in taste. The overall fruit quality is good and is used to make jams, juices and curries. Zone 9+


Seeds....

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Mediterranean Spurge

The whole plant grows 3-5’ feet tall and wide, making it a perfect focal point for a spot with well-drained soil and full sun. The milky sap may cause irritation to skin and eyes. Do not eat! USDA Zones 7 to 10.Seeds Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii is a dramatic perennial plant that grows into a large robust plant. 

In late winter to early spring great club-like inflorescences emerge from the crown. Bright chartreuse flower-like bracts glow in the garden of particularly large flowers with an intense color. 

The overall effect is eye-catching and lasts well into June. At about the same time, new shoots emerge holding narrow, grey-green leaves.

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Friday

Rare Calico Monkey Flower Mimulus pictus


A truly rare gem. Calico Monkey Flower Mimulus pictus

This wildflower is endemic to California, found only above the southeastern San Joaquin Valley within Kern County and Tulare County.

It is known only from the western Tehachapi Mountains and southernmost Sierra Nevada foothills, at elevations of 443–4,101 ft.  It grows in open California oak woodland habitat, in bare rocky soils around granite outcrops.

Nothing like any Mimulus you have ever seen. A very rare and unusual plant with creamy-white rounded petals delicately patterned with fine dark-red to purplish brown spider web-like lines. Foliage is velvet fuzzy textured. Loves a well drained but moist soil in light shade. Zone 8+. Low growing about 6" to 12" in well drained, moist soil, sun or part shade.


It is a listed Endangered species on the California Native Plant Society Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants.


Seeds available here:

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Dioscorea elephantipes Elephant Foot Caudiciform

A fascinating plant. 

Dioscorea elephantipes (syn. Testudinaria elephantipes), also commonly known as turtle back, elephant's foot, Hottentots' bread is one of the most beautiful, weird and wonderful, caudiciform plants around!

It has a deeply fissured surface, resembling an elephant's foot, hence its common name. It makes a most interesting container plant. The stems grow in a climbing fashion. The leaves are heart-shaped. Flowers are pale greenish yellow and normally appear in winter.

It is believed the Khoisan used to bake the starchy, bread-like trunk which was used as a food source. Other members in the genus Dioscorea are used to extract steriodal saponins which are used to produce cortisone and and contraceptives.

Easily grown in any well drained inorganic soil. 


Seed Source: Dioscorea elephantipes

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Rare Heirloom Giant White Choclo Corn from the Inca empire - Cuzco

NEW! Rare Heirloom Peruvian Giant White Corn Choclo Cuzco Maize Zea Mays var. Cuscoensis - 40 SeedsChoclo, is a variety of corn, also referred to as Peruvian corn or Cuzco corn (named for the capital city of the Inca empire - Cuzco), is a large kernel corn from the Andes. It is consumed in parts of Central America and South America, especially in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia. Kernels are 1/2" inch and cobs grow to 8" inches.

Choclo is used in the making of humitas in Bolivia, choclo arepas (Corn Griddle Cakes) in Colombia and for pastel de choclo (Corn Pie). 


NEW! Rare Heirloom Peruvian Giant White Corn Choclo Cuzco Maize Zea Mays var. Cuscoensis - 40 SeedsIn Peru, choclo is commonly served as an accompaniment to dishes such as ceviche, and its toasted, salted form, similar to corn nuts, are customarily given free to restaurant patrons upon being seated. Full ears of choclo are also a popular street food in Peru and other Andean countries, typically served with a slice of cheese as choclo con queso. Finger foods like choclo con queso mirror the popularity of corn on the cob as a convenient street snack in Latin America.

I wonder if it makes giant popcorn as well :)

Seed Source: Choclo Perivuan Giant White Corn
 

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Grow Your Own Pistachio Nuts!

Pistachios are a great source of vitamins and minerals and are naturally cholesterol free. A serving of pistachios contains 170 calories and is a good source of many key nutrients containing over 10% of the Daily Value of fiber, protein, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
In addition, scientific evidence is mounting to show that consuming nuts can play a role in managing your weight.

They aren't hard to grow and the seedlings potted up in a cute container will make a nice exotic Holiday Gifts for colleagues at the office.

Pistacio makes broad feathered, glossy, dark leaves and terminal clusters
of small flowers followed by red-skinned fruits on female plants.

The fruits contain the well-known Pistachio nut inside. The reddish, wrinkled fruits are borne in heavy clusters somewhat like grapes. Although known as a nut, the fruit of the pistachio is botanically a drupe, the edible portion of which is the seed. The oblong kernel is about 1 inch in length and 1/2 inch in diameter and protected by a thin, ivory-colored, bony shell. Normally the shells split longitudinally along their sutures when mature.
Pistacia vera develops strictly either male or female plants, thus several plants have to be grown together for pollination. An ornamental container plant suited for any well drained, rich soil in a sunny spot.

Pistachios should be planted in full sun. The size of the slow growing trees can be further controlled by pruning. When planting, avoid rough handling since the budded tops are easily broken away from the understock.
The trees do best on soils that are deep, friable and well drained but moisture retaining. It can, however, survive in poor, stony, calcareous, highly alkaline or slightly acid, or even saline soils. The root is deeply penetrating.

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