22 March 2009

Spilanthes for Hot Spot Edging, Plus A Medicinal and Butterfly Garden Plant

Tired of the same old petunias and zinnias? How about Eyeball Spilanthes?
The Eyeball flower has been in the seed catalogs for a few years and looks so cute, that this year I bought seeds from Garden Medicinals and Culinaries.

The flowers are described as olive shaped. They come in pink-burgundy and yellow-orange color combinations.

The germination rate of my indoor seed sowing is impressive and so far I have about 60-tiny seedlings.

A Zone 10 native of South America and Africa, this humidity and heat loving plant grows to about one-foot tall, blooms until the first hard freeze and is said to make great cut flowers that last for several days in the vase.
my seedlings this morning
Herbalists refer to the plant as the toothache plant because chewing the leaves will numb gums after the chemicals first make your tongue tingle. Tinctures are used for earaches, immunity boosting, Lyme disease and malaria.

For a thorough coverage of the plant's benefits click on Cove Rock Farm Life blog written by gardener Leanne Holcomb who gardens in zone 7 Flat Rock Alabama.

Last June, Holcomb planted the seeds and wrote about this member of the aster family complete with recommendations for herbal uses.


A bonus for us butterfly fanatics is that the flowers attract the Lycaenidae family of 6,000 gossamer winged species which is 40% of all butterflies.

Click here to see how many different butterflies will come to your garden just by planting Spilanthes!

No comments: