Saturday, July 27, 2013

Eustoma - common name: Lisianthus

My father is wonderful at growing plants from seed and under lights. One year he brought me a plant I had never heard of: Lisianthus (pronounced lizzie-ANN-thus).

What a beauty!! It looks like a rose and lasts for weeks as a cut flower.

The true name of Lisianthus is Eustoma, and it is a genus of the Gentianaceae family. It is commonly found on the American Prairie and in the Southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America.
Here it is grown and planted as an annual, growing 18-24" tall. Often, there are many blooms on a single stem. I do stake them because they will bend in bad storms.

Lisianthus come in a variety of colours. This year I have a mauve-blue, white and bi-colour.

Lisianthus can be challenging to grow. As I said, my Dad grows them from seed but they must be started very early, not just several weeks before planting. The seeds are tiny and therefore hard to see. But he has been successful year after year and they are now a staple in mine and his garden.

They enjoy being planted in rich fertile soil. They like moist soil but dislike being over-watered. They tolerate drought very well.

Other common names include Prairie Rose, Texas Bluebell and Prairie Gentian.

If you feel that trying to grow them from seed would be too frustrating and time-consuming, look for some started plants at your local nursery next spring. They truly are a satisfying, beautiful annual to have in your garden and in vases within your home.

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Nadezda said...

Lisianthus is a little treasure in your garden, isn't it? It's pretty it comes in different colors, the most I love is blue-white one!

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
Yes - treasure is the perfect word! The bi-colour is quite unusual, isn't it?

Jennifer said...

Parents can certainly have a big influence on the way we garden. My Mom is my inspiration in the way your father is yours. I have never tried to grow Lisianthus, but have often admired them at the grocery store floral department. I really like the purple bi-color.

debsgarden said...

They do look like little roses! i have seen them in garden centers but have not tried them in my own garden. I did not know they are native to the southern US. I definitely should try them!

Astrid said...

Hi Jennifer
My Dad is happy I finally "came around" and started enjoying gardening in my late thirties. He tried to convert me before that but I was not interested!! He always finds something new and interesting. Several years in a row he grew the most incredible Datura for me from seed.

Hi Deb
I quickly hopped onto Google and it says that Lisianthus grows well in all zones of the States. In Zone 8, you should plant out in May or June. Glad yo enjoyed them!

Dunia Bersama said...

hi astrid, i really enjoyed show your blog. I like and love lisianhus flower. i really wanna have one, but in my country its so difficult to found that. i hope someday i'll get one lisianthus flower,