A Gardener's Winter Distraction


Brunfelsia jamaicensis occupied space on the patio all summer without doing much in the growth department. In fact, it actually lost many of its lower leaves.

According to Logee's, where I purchased the plant several years ago, it tends to bloom on the woody lateral growth. It's been in the same clay pot for at least two years, so it's happily potbound with excellent drainage.

After it finishes blooming, I'll repot it into the same pot with fresh new soil mix and prune it back.

This Brunfelsia, also referred to as "Queen of the Night," has flowers that are fragrant at night. In its native Jamaica, it's endangered due to habitat destruction.

Another species of Brunfelsia I've grown for several years is B. australis, AKA "yesterday, today and tomorrow." I found a good article about this species on an Austrailian site called Burke's Backyard.

Brunfelsia australis often blooms inside beginning late February. At left, it's just opened and will fade a bit each day until it turns white. The flowers on this species also are fragrant.

Brunfelsia species number between 30 and 42, depending on your source. They are in the nightshade family (Solanaceae), a group that is rich in alkaloids.

Although neither of my Brunfelsias have formed berries, I'll be on the lookout for them in case my dogs take an interest in them. The entire plant, particularly the berries, are poisonous.


It's time to think about bringing tropical plants indoors before a frost. I'm rooting for the ginger flowers, many of which haven't opened yet. I counted three gardenia buds as I shaped the plant once more before attempting to get it through the door.

Oh, and I ordered some bulbs to play with through the winter. More about those later...

1 comment:

  1. I love the blooms on your Brunfelsia. That's a new variety for me. I'm much more familiar with the Brunfelsia australis, often sold as latifolia here. I have one of these myself and I just adore the way the flowers fade from dark purple to white.

    Here's hoping those Ginger blooms appear and those Gardenia buds open up.

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