You may wonder why I'm requoting myself after apologising previously for mentioning nicotiana too many times ...
|My Blogger Signature Icon - August 2010|
It's just that Diana invited me to join her meme about our signature plants :
(It would be rude not to, and I can't lie to Diana ...)
|Seeds were nominally "lime-green" but flower shades faded to white - September 2010|
My pride and joy in my first year of gardening, this abundant display was produced from six tiny seedlings with the aid of a carefully chosen camera-angle ...
|Nicotiana rules - October 2010|
The joy came to an abrupt end when the first frost was laid in late October 2010. I thought (mistakenly) that the black dots at the centre of the blooms were seeds and stored them in envelopes to dry, they were actually anthers. In autumn, I sowed the "seeds" using my tried-and-tested technique of poking a pencil into the soil, dropping in a couple of seeds, patting soil on top and leaving them in the plastic greenhouse to germinate. Then I discovered that the flower-holders attached to the stalks dried into seed-pods after the flower withered. I sowed these seeds too, unsuccessfully. (I learned later that nicotiana seeds need light to germinate.)
While weeding in June, I recognised a cluster of leaves that brought back happy memories, just as seeds in a seed tray more often than not all germinate simultaneously. The plantlets were separated carefully and transplanted. Did I imagine that these specimens were even more beautiful than their predecessors? As the summer progressed I found more peer groups, germinating at different times in the subtly different micro-climates around the garden, extending the flowering period well into winter.
The leaves and stems of nicotiana alata are sticky due to excretions of poisonous nicotine aimed at discouraging herbivores from eating them; these are ornamental plants.
Nicotiana tabacum is grown commercially for the tobacco industry. Not surprisingly, this hyrid can't be found naturally in the wild.
|My Signature Plant : Nicotiana Alata Lime Green - September 2011|
|Glad it's still around - January 2012|
|Seed-pod remains after the flower has fallen - January 2012|
Incredible that those seeds fell on soil exposed to the right amount of sunlight and moisture to trigger germination, when you think of the efforts we go through in our kitchens or greenhouses to simulate this.
Awesome that my flower-beds were graced with these self-propogating lime-green delights for the past two years and hopefully for many years to come.
Nicotiana seeds should be sown on the surface of the soil as they need light to germinate :
Articles about seeds and seed starting :
Another definition of ... SIGNATURE : a feature in the appearance or qualities of a natural object formerly held to indicate its utility in medicine either because of a fancied resemblance to a body part (as a heart-shaped leaf indicating utility in heart disease) or because of a presumed relation to some phase of a disease (as the prickly nature of thistle indicating utility in case of a stitch in the side) ... Meriam-Webster Medical Dictionary