Monday, July 10, 2017

Adding a Little Chocolate to the Garden

Have you ever heard of 

Chocolate Plant?

A member of the Acanthaceae family, this heirloom plant

is rarely found in catalogs or plant centers.

Rather it is usually shared with others by garden enthusiasts such

as my friend who recently passed some along to me.

Typically a low growing mound that easily spreads,

the chocolate association comes from the plant's leaves

that are subtle shades of brown with silvery patches.

A slender bloom stalk, just barely visible in the photo above,

produces a show of dark purple flowers.

My friend had first seen this plant growing in mass

down a slope in another friend's garden.

It was in bloom at the time, and she said the contrast of

the deep purple against the chocolate leaves was stunning.

How fortunate to have a friend who 

generously shares plants from her garden.  

I've been the lucky recipient of other 

"pass along plants" from this friend's garden.

She knows I have shade gardens, 

which are a perfect fit for Chocolate Plant.

Taking a cue from my friend's observation about

seeing these growing on a slope, 

I decided to try them along the path

in our front shade garden.

They are a bit wilted from just being transplanted,

but hopefully they will perk back up soon.

Persian Shield, another shade loving favorite in my 

garden is also in the Acanthaceae family.

If the Chocolate Plant is happy in this spot, I think I will 

add in some Persian Shield for a bit of contrast. 

Perhaps some Foxtail Ferns too!

~ Chocolate Plant ~

Add a little chocolate to your garden!

Click here to read more about this interesting plant.


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The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.