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.


  1. I'd love to add a little of chocolate to my garden too, your plants looks so charming, Dearest Sarah, thank you for sharing this so wonderful suggestion !

    Wishing you a most lovely Monday,
    I'm sending blessings on your week just begun,
    with sincere gratitude

    XOXO Dany

  2. So pretty! The chocolate plant will have such great contrast to the other more green leaves. Pass along plants are the best! You always think of your friend when you see them.

    Are y'all getting all the rain we've been getting in north Texas? It's incredible! Rain, rain, rain!! We are so grateful because our sod went in two weeks ago and it's already looking established with all the water and good minerals.

  3. A little chocolate for the garden sounds like the perfect recipe Sarah! I love the idea of pairing it with the Persian Shield!

  4. I've not seen the chocolate plant, Sarah, mostly because I have next to no shade in my garden, but I love pass along plants! That will bring another interesting texture to your garden, and I bet those purple blooms will really be striking, esp if you mix the Persian Shield. I enjoy seeing things in garden that I don't have and can't grow. Thanks for sharing (in yet another way besides passing along)!

  5. What a lovely plant. Pretty much all my land is shade so I might consider adding one like this or the others you shared. I haven't heard of the chocolate plant at all!

    Thanks for a wonderfully informative post -- and the walk through your garden was pretty great too!

  6. Your gardens!:) So different than lush and full and lovely and tropicalesque to me..
    I know how you love it:)
    :)Thanks for taking us along.

  7. this is a new plant to me, so curious about it now. Pinned xo

  8. Your garden is lovely. the Chocolate Plant is a new one for me, too. I love sharing plants, especially the heirlooms. So important to care for these older plants. What stories they could tell! Ha! Your Persian Shield is very striking. Happy Monday!

  9. What could be better that chocolate in the already beautiful gardens! I don't think I've seen this plant, surly if I had I would have asked about it. A lovely addition Sarah, and such a sweet friend to share with you. Now, I have to learn all about this plant! Have a wonderful week.......

  10. Well I need a pass along friend here!!!!That is so pretty and no I've never heard of it.

  11. Never heard of it, Sarah! Now, I am intrigued. Thanks:)

  12. What a pretty plant to provide contrast in a shady part of the garden. And how great to have a sharing friend. I like to eat chocolate in my garden, or while looking at my garden from the patio. That's the only chocolate I currently have!

  13. What a gorgeous plant. Your gardens are amazing!

  14. Lovely shaded walkway and garden - never heard of this plant - but then I never know the name of any plants - lol

  15. Hi Sarah, I've never heard of a chocolate plant before but I think it's a wonderful addition to your shady garden and will fit in with those others really well.
    Happy MM!

  16. The chocolate plant is new to me, but I must say I love the color of the leaves, and I bet the purple flowers are so pretty with the leaves! How neat! We need to replace some plants in our backyard because what was once shade is now in the sun. We lost a couple of trees and many branches due to the drought last summer!

  17. I love the idea of a chocolate plant in my garden. I have lots of shady areas to fill. Adding this to my list!

  18. Never heard of that plant, but it is beautiful. I will be on the look out for it. I have heard of the Persian plant.

    Have a great week and happy gardening. It's really HOT here.


  19. Sarah, a plant that is passed along has a story of a friendship! I have never heard of a chocolate plant, but with its name, it deserves to be in your lovely shade garden. The purple blooms will definitely be striking against the brown leaves. Thanks for joining Gardens Galore!

  20. Ooh I'd love to add some chocolate to my garden! Love the colors of the leaf of the chocolate plant and I like the persian shield plant too. I think I've seen the persian shield plant sold as a houseplant up here. It always means a lot to have a plant shared especially by a friend. Those transplanted ones will perk up in no time and they're going to look wonderful as they fill out along the shady pathway.

  21. It's lovely to have a history of friendships in your yard. Both plants are beautiful.

  22. Sarah, I love learning about new plants. I had not heard of the chocolate plant. I also like the Persian Shield plant you featured. My garden is primarily shade also so I will look for these two plants.

  23. Chocolate is fabulous anywhere!! ;)

  24. Sarah, That is wonderful part of the family of gardeners. When plants thrive a time comes when some of it must be purged or pruned. A great opportunity to share. I hope that the chocolate plant does well there. Thanks for sharing your garden and have a great day! Sylvia D.

  25. What a beautiful plant and anything that includes the word chocolate is perfection in my book! Happy Wednesday, Sarah!

  26. Your garden path looks so nice.. and the chocolate plant sounds like a good addition to the garden. I am now following you... so glad to have found your lovely blog. :)

  27. I had heard of chocolate plant, but have never seen one. It really is beautiful! I think it's going to love it's new home! I have quite a few friends that I share plants with and they share with me as well. So fun!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  28. Sarah, I have a garden filled with plants from friends. Love your chocolate plant! Have a perfect weekend. xo

  29. Sarah, what a pretty plant. Now, if only it were edible and flavored like its name. :)

  30. Dearest Sarah,
    That indeed is a very lovely colored chocolate plant and perfect for your shade garden.
    Hope it soon perks back up and feels happy in your lovely garden.
    Both of us have been a bit closer to your area, but still far away... New Orleans we drove to and we boarded a 4-night cruise on the Mississippi.
    Sending you hugs,

  31. the garden is so petty

  32. I have never heard of nor seen those plants - how extraordinary, Sarah! I think it will be a delightful addition to your shade gardens.

    I wish we had shade. I have such a sunny home I actually think it's just too much sun! I could live deep in the woods. I love shade, I love cooler temps - I grew up with woods behind me and it was so wonderful. I guess we love what we know best. ♥

  33. Sarah,
    You can never have too much chocolate.... anywhere. :) This plants looks like it is going to be right at home in your front garden.


  34. It's always fun to learn about a new plant....and especially nice to be given one from a friend's garden. I am creating a shade garden at the north side of the house. A bit of chocolate.. ..the non-melting kind..... might be just the thing!

  35. Those are lovely plants. We are going to need to do major landscaping after we move in. We have both sun and shade, slopes and flat land, so it should be fun!

  36. Such pretty plants, your garden looks lovely. Chocolate.. umm, sounds awesome right in your garden.
    My indoor plants are mostly from my dearest beloved MIL, my mom and SIL.
    They are special always.
    Enjoy your weekend.


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