Lycianthes rantonnetii

19 Oct

Lycianthes rantonnetii (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Lycianthes rantonnetii (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Solanaceae

Lycianthes rantonnetii is a deciduous shrub with an arching spreading habit. At the lower end of its hardiness range it will die back to ground level during the winter months. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 10cm long and 5cm wide. Its purple flowers have yellow centres, . Its fruit is a dark brown berry and up to 3cm long.

Lycianthes rantonnetii Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Lycianthes rantonnetii Flower (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Lycianthes rantonnetii, commonly known as the Blue Potato Bush or Paraguay Nightshade, is native to Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. Lycianthes rantonnetii is synonymous with Solanum rantonnetii.

The etymological root of the binomial name Lycianthes is derived from the Greek lykion meaning ‘a thorny bush’ and anthos meaning ‘flower’. Rantonnetii is named after Victor Rantonnet, a 19th century French horticulturalist.

The landscape architect may find Lycianthes rantonnetii useful as a long flowering shrub. Care should be taken when locating this shrub as its berries are poisonous.

Ecologically, Lycianthes rantonnetii flowers are attractive to butterflies. Its berries are attractive to some birds.

Lycianthes rantonnetii Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Lycianthes rantonnetii Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Lycianthes rantonnetii their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2012.

Lycianthes rantonnetii prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Lycianthes rantonnetii requires little maintenance. Pruning should be carried out in the winter months and a maximum of one third of the stem should be removed.

Advertisements

One Response to “Lycianthes rantonnetii”

  1. David Hollombe 20/10/2013 at 03:49 #

    Barthelemy Victor Rantonnet, born in Lyon, March 29, 1797 (9 Germinal, year 5) – died in Hyeres, December 4, 1871.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: