Tuesday, August 02, 2011

More Flowers

It has been hot and humid for weeks - the plants do not seem to mind. The hyacinth bean is blooming. Interestingly, I misplaced the seeds of this tropical vine several years ago and came across them in June. I planted the seeds and they grew wonderfully. This is one of the plants that has been documented to be planted by Thomas Jefferson at his home, Monticello. You can buy the attractive beans online at the Monticello website. http://search.store.yahoo.net/monticellostore/cgi-bin/nsearch?catalog=monticellostore&query=Dolichos

This ornamental vine is native to the tropical regions of Africa
and is cultivated extensively in Asia and North Africa for its edible fruit pods, which, like the flowers, are highly ornamental. The hyacinth bean, also known as Egyptian and Indian bean, was introduced to European gardens by the early 1700s and was sold by American nurserymen by the early 19th century. In 1812, Thomas Jefferson recorded planting "Arbor beans white, scarlet, crimson, purple, at the trees of the level on both sides of the terrasses, and on long walk of [kitchen] garden."

The Naked Ladies are in full bloom. This species was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Their original habitat was in South Africa.


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