Friday, March 16, 2012
Angelonia angustifolia AngelMist
Angelonia AngelMist Deep Plum.
Angelonia angustifolia (Angelonia with narrow leaves) is a remarkably tough and colourful plant originally from Mexico. I was quite unaware of the genus until we were offered trial plants a few years ago. It grew very well in the heat of summer but hardly set the world on fire in the sales department so I set it aside and forgot it to the best of my ability.
It turns out that I wasn't alone in my ignorance, Angelonia really hadn't been used a great deal as a garden plant. It is native to "Mexico, Cuba and parts of the West Indies" and little breeding for garden use had ocured until the 1990's when breeders found they could wring little more out of Pansies and Petunias, I'd suggest also after the significant success Claude Hope had achieved with Impatiens.
Angelonia AngelMist Purple Stripe.
We were offered trial plants again this year, thanks Ball Horticulture. We only have 15-20 baskets each of 4 colours: Deep Plum, Lavender Stripe, Purple Stripe and White. 5-10, 200mm pots of each were snapped up in no time last week so we are keen to gauge interest in the baskets. Angel Mist is a 'spreading' hybrid, hence our interest in baskets. We potted young, cutting grown plant into 100mm pots in December and cut them back at least twice before potting them on to the baskets. I have no doubt the 2 cuts were essential to keep the advanced plants compact and bushy. In its native habitat Angelonia is a bushy shrub but being a tropical plant originally it istreated as an annual in the cold northern hemisphere. I'm confident it will over winter in Melbourne's climate and re-shoot after a cut back in early spring.
These plants are just starting to flower, it's hard to see from my pics but they are laden with buds. The common name is Summer Snapdragon but they are not closely related.