Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Someone asked about Nicotiana sylvestris on Twitter this morning, and I went out to snap a picture of mine; wow, had it grown! It was about 6:30, and the fragrance was still intense. Much sweeter than the N. alata grandiflora next to it..more like Regal Lilies. And massive? There's a full-size tomato cage in there!
This was grown from seed casually tossed in my east-facing nursery bed last spring, collected from an equally impressive specimen at the Elizabeth Gamble Garden in Palo Alto California.
Nicotianas seem to be happiest where they seed themselves... they sulk if transplanted beyond seedling stage, althought they'll forgive you eventually. Light but regular water is keeping my fellow lush...he'd probably be fine with less.
N. sylvestris is a great plant to tuck in an odd corner to perfume summer nights. But beware! Each flower will produce a seed capsule bursting with tiny seeds! But it's not a thug about it...and good deadheading will keep side shoots coming, so you'll be motivated to keep things tidy.