05 May 2013

Iocharoma cyaneum

Iochromas are related to Angel's Trumpets (Brugmansia) but have smaller leaves and clusters of lovely tubular flowers. 

Iochroma Countess is a new hybrid with pink flowers, Royal Blue has medium-blue flower clusters, Sky King has pale blue flowers, Frosty Plum, Plum Beauty and Purple Bells have purple flowers.

They are cold hardy to zone 7 (mid-20s F) but most people in zone 7 grow these little semi-tropical (Ecuador & Argentina) shrubs in a container that can be moved to a protected place in the depth of winter. They mature at 6 to 10 feet tall.
Iochroma Purple Bells

Remove the spent flowers to keep it blooming for a longer period of time and to maintaine its appearance.

The USDA says tomato hornworms can be a problem and their detailed study of the plant is available online at http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/3207/PDF

One plant source is Katurz Greenhouses(http://www.kartuz.com)

There is a YouTube video on how to propagate them from cuttings at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TynE8zuLb4

Trade Winds Fruit has the seeds at http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/violet_churcu.htm and there
 is a discussion of seed germination at http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/brug/msg1116151611415.html

I hope you'll enjoy growing Iocharoma whether you start them from seed or cuttings or purchase a ready to bloom plant.

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