(Mirabilis jalapa) Lane Selman of the Culinary Breeding Network has a strangely obsessive habbit of pinching seeds from roadside four o'clocks on her travels through Italy, and she has found in us an equally strange collaborator to obsessively multiply and spread their joy through the world. If you have weird hobbies go out and find your people I guess?
We are dubbing our project the "Random Italian Roadside 4 O'clock Biodiversity Project®" and now at 2 varieties, represents the largest commercially available collection of its kind.
This hot fuchsia variety was gathered from wild plants among the Greek ruins of an archeological park just west of Siracusa on the east coast of Sicily: an amazing area with ruins of an enormous Greek theater and fantastic carved limestone grottos. (That is, unless removing plant vegetation from the site is illegal in which case they were, er, gathered someplace else).
Lane is Sicilian and "beddu" is the regional-dialect equivalent of "bella" or "beautiful". Four O'clocks are known as bella di notte (night beauty) in Italian because the blossoms open in the late afternoon, filling their evening surroundings with sweet perfume, attracting moths, night pollinators, and lovers of beauty, before closing the following morning. The electric color brings the evening rays of the sultry Mediterranean sun to shine from our northern-latitude gardens.
Four o'clock are about as unfussy as a plant can be, growing into big busy plants covered in blooms, and thriving in the hands of even the most negligent of gardeners. Each bloom lasts a single night and only produces a single seed. They happily reseed, but at least in our the northern reaches of the US haven't shown too much tendency towards irrepressible world domination.
80 days. UO
Packet: 15 seeds