Browallia americana

Browallia americana

This is an easy-to-grow bushy annual from tropical South America (ht 30-60 cm), which has a mass of starry bloom with a white centre in summer and autumn. It belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants. It grows best in sun but will tolerate some shade; it grows in most soils. It is rarely seen for sale: if you are able to obtain even a single seedling from the garden of someone who grows it, you will have it forever. I started with one such lone plant and now have literally hundreds of them coming up each spring. They obligingly fill in any spare spaces in the garden, without swamping surrounding plants. I find that it is possible to dig up even quite large plants and transplant them elsewhere, if a reasonable amount of soil around the root ball is dug up and the plants are watered well for a few days afterwards. Browallia americana mixes effortlessly with any other colour but is especially fetching with yellow, orange or cerise flowers. When I pull them out at the end of autumn, I shake the plants around to ensure another crop the following spring. Some plants can even bloom into winter in Sydney.

Flowers in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, December.