Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feeling Spiny

I've had a long, angst-ridden day. To celebrate, I'm going to share one of my favorite plants with you.

Meet Solanum atropurpureum, also known as Five-Minute Plant, Malevolence, or Gates-of-Hell. It’s a tender perennial eggplant relative that can be grown as an annual here in Wisconsin. I started several from saved seed this February, and they’re about a foot or so tall now. As they grow, the spines get larger, and they turn purple-black. I’ll post pics later this summer to show their progress.


  1. Finally checking out your blog (You gave me a card with the address). I hope you'll continue to update because what you've posted is interesting so far.

    Still sort of wish I had picked up one of those from you when you had your plant sale. I love kind of nefarious looking plants. The voodoo lily is getting a nice set of leaves seemingly overnight after being just a spike for a while. Do you know the best way to care for them? I've seen different things online and forgot to ask when I bought it.

    Anyway, looking forward to your next entries.


  2. Hey Ginger, I hope you're enjoying your voodoo lily. Your plant is a Sauromatum venosum, it's one of several 'Voodoo Lilies' I grow. It's relatively easy as far as they go, not overly picky about light (I grow mine in partial to full shade). They like to stay moist for their growing season, but when the leaves begin to yellow and go dormant, allow the plant to dry out thouroughly. You can keep it in a cool, dark place over the winter, either in its pot, or dig up the bulb and store in a paper bag with some wood shavings or peat moss. Pot it up again in the early spring... it may bloom while still inside, before sending up a leaf.
    I also have found that when buried a little deep, Sauromatum seems to be pretty winter hardy. If you want to try it in the ground, make sure to put it in a well-drained spot and mulch well for the winter.