Amazing annuals: Nolana

Creeping carpets of stunning blue flowers on this versatile annual.

I really want to move on from the Ns and I realise I have missed out molucella (bells of Ireland) so I may have to go back a step. I was tempted to ignore nolana because I do not often grow it but, I have grown it and I am sure it is better in warmer climates so, for the sake of some sort of completeness, I will give it a passing mention.

Nolana are from Chile and are yet another beauty from the Solanaceae, though the flowers do resemble annual convolvulus as much as petunias. They are typically blue, with a white centre, in the most commonly grown N. paradoxa, but they can be mauve too as you may have worked out for yourself. The plant is low, hugging the ground, spreading to at least 60cm across and bears its flowers, singly in the leaf axils, for many months. It prefers a sunny, warm place and is best treated as a half hardy annual. The lax habit makes it suitable for baskets and cascading over the side of pots.

Apparently the ‘paradoxa’ bit refers to the seeds or seed pods of this species which are unlike the other species. However in most nolana they are mericarps – single-seeded fruits – unlike the fruits of most Solanaceae (think tomato). But then, since nolana alone has seed pods unlike the rest of the Solanaceae, what does that actually mean? I don’t know. Nolana paradoxa reached Europe in 1820 and is one of 18-85 species (depending on what the botanists have decided at the time) from Chile and Peru.

I am curiously ambivalent about nolana and I am not sure why. If you have the means of enthusing me please let me know.

I think that means we can move on to the Ps next and some exciting annuals.

5 Comments on “Amazing annuals: Nolana”

  1. Annabel
    January 12, 2021 at 8:05 am #

    I’m afraid i wont be shouting for more on nolanas. Never heard of them, and from your post , they are very unlikely to make it to my very cold garden anytime soon !
    Bring on the Ps ! Petunias, phlox and ???

  2. tonytomeo
    January 12, 2021 at 3:36 pm #

    Is it similar to Calibrachoa? Although not familiar with it, I can understand the ambivalence because I feel the same way about Calibrchoa. I know it is pretty, but I am not impressed by it.

    • thebikinggardener
      January 12, 2021 at 3:57 pm #

      mmm – a bit I suppose but a bit less well behaved.

      • tonytomeo
        January 14, 2021 at 5:30 am #

        Well, in this situation, that could be an advantage. I am none too keen on Calibrachoa, partly because it look artificial, and is ‘too’ perfect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: