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Caulanthus inflatus

 
Caulanthus inflatus
desert candle
Common name desert candle
Family brassicaceae
Life cycle annual
Flowers purple
Size 24"
Light sun
Cultural notes well drained soil, drought-tolerant
From seed germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Curious annual native to California, whose flowers appear on starkly upright, succulent lime green stems. The unopened buds are a deep bungundy color, which makes them the primary attraction. Perhaps attraction is too big of a word, because the overall habit of the plants is gangly, with untidy leaves held a ways off the ground by dark stems. But it's fun to find the interesting bits for every plant.

Caulanthus inflatus
desert candle
Upon closer inspection, the opening flowers that are lower on the elongating flowering stem become evident. The bud exteriors have faded by now, and the tiny petals that emerge are a purple/white bicolor. They are quite interesting if you bother to look!

Caulanthus inflatus

In the next stage, the long seedpods form, initially topped by little pink minipetals.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '13 trade. Baggy 70F (75%G, 5-18d)


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Last modified: May 28, 2014
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