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Pacific Puka Meryta denhamii Seem.
New Caledonia
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care: This small tree, growing only about 20 feet tall, lives naturally in dense humid frost free forests. If you can duplicate those conditions you will have a happy tree.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2012
**Pacific Rosewood See Below -- PORTIA TREE
Palm Beachbells See the "K" Page -- KALANCHOE -- Donkey's Ears
Palm Trees and Sago Palms See the "PALMS AND SAGOS" Page

**Palm Grass, Bristle Grass Setaria palmifolia or (less likely) Curculigo capitulata
This is a strange plant to call "grass," but despite its inappropriate name it is a very appealing plant.
From: India
Photographed: At the Hotel San Buenaventura on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Once settled in palm grass is very tolerant of light and moisture variations. One might even think of it as invasive so be sure to plant it where you want it and think about how you are going to restrain it before it gets too enthusiastic.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
Palma Christi See the "C" Page -- CASTOR OIL PLANT

Panama Queen Aphelandra sinclairiana
This shrub which can grow to be ten feet tall is not only a real "looker," it does its finery in winter when we could all use a boost. It is a stunner as I hope you can see in the photographs. 
Central America
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is another of my favorite plants as it will perform beautifully in its preferred semi shady setting in the garden. It appreciates routine watering and is happiest if the temperature doesn't fall below 50° F. though it will accommodate an occasional fall to 30° F.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Shrub Mystery 3 and 3A solved by my friend Ursula G. living in Southern Germany


Pansies Violax wittrockiana
I have always loved these low growing brilliantly colored softly petaled flowers. I grew up with them in spring flower beds in New England and have only rarely seen them since then. When we got to Ushuaia it was the end of summer and the pansies were a little tired, but I was thrilled to see them anyway. It was particularly surprising to see them then because they were always considered "only for spring" flowers in New England.

Photographed: In Ushuaia and Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina.
Planting and Care: Pansies are easy to grow and most often purchased at a flower shop as tiny plants that you can take home to enliven your springtime garden with their wonderful colors. They are pretty short, maybe about 8" tall, so they make wonderful "filler in" plants. They do best in full sun in the cooler parts of the world like New England and Patagonia. Water them occasionally if it doesn't rain often.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2012

**Papaya Tree, Pawpaw Carica papaya L.
These are fast growing very attractive small trees that with a little luck will last for years bearing lots of fruit throughout the year. The appearance and flavor of its fruits vary considerably so always try to taste a fruit before you plant its seed.
Benefits and Cautions:

     If you'd like to have an all natural peel, think about a mix of fresh papaya and pineapple for a great facial. Give this a quick try, maybe 5 minutes and then rinse off. Next day try it for 10 minutes if you didn't get the benefits you were looking for. Remember you are trying to improve the skin on your face, not have your face digested!
     Green papaya slices applied to bee or wasp stings or wounds have been said to promote healing. I haven't tried this myself, so go easy at first. Try using papaya for 5 minutes on a bee sting if you want and see how it goes.
     Seeds or slices of the green or ripe fruit may act as digestive aids relieving constipation, bloating and gas. My husband swears by its ability to make his tummy feel good when he has eaten something dicey.
     Mixed with milk, the green fruit is used in some countries to reduce high blood pressure. I don't have any personal experience with this and have no idea what the milk/papaya quantities might be. If you've heard of this, please let me know so I can share it with others. Somewhere else I read that when mixed in a juice with sour orange, papaya is believed to help reduce high blood pressure.
     Tea made from the leaves is said to relieve kidney disorders.
     Papaya may be useful in weight control, because one of its ingredients, an enzyme called papain, may help to burn calories more quickly. Papain, similar to one of our own enzymes produced in the pancreas, has long been used as a meat tenderizer and it does just that. It breaks down proteins. On the down side, if you are peeling or slicing papayas frequently or in quantity, it can easily break down the skin on your hands; wear rubber gloves for protection.
      Papaya is high in Vitamins C and A.
      Most of the papayas sold in the United States are GMO, so do look for organic papayas if you can.
Photographed: On the left at the top of our terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat. Below in a neighbor's garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: My best advice for planting a papaya is to take the seeds from a fruit you particularly liked eating and toss them on good garden soil. Then wait. Once the seeds take, in about four to eight weeks, papaya trees are incredibly fast growing and will provide fruit in their first year. If you buy or are given a papaya tree, plant it in a hole 18" deep with lots of manure and hope for the best. We never had any luck planting a tree, but lots of luck with casually strewn seeds. The papaya is an enormously productive tree and its fruits, whether green or ripe yellow, have many uses. Papayas are male or female trees and you need to have one of each to get fruit. The male tree can be identified more quickly than the female as it produces flowers when it is still pretty immature. Even so, you'll still have to wait a few months to see if you have male or female plants. You will need only one male plant so extras can be discarded unless you have lots of room and a particular fondness for them. Papayas like to grow in full sun with regular rainfall or watering and a monthly dose of fertilizer, but they are adaptable within limits.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and 2013
**Papyrus See the "PALMS AND SAGOS" Page
Parasol Flower See The "C" Page -- CHINESE HAT
Parlor Ivy See the "G" Page -- GERMAN IVY 

Parrot Plant Impatiens niamniamensis
From: Tropical East Africa
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is a low growing half to full shade loving plant. It has lovely flowers almost continuously if it also receives routine rainfall or watering. Happily for some, the plant also likes an acid soil.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010


**Curly Leaf Parsley Petroselinum crispum
Parsley is one of those garden essentials that can almost be taken for granted. We use it in every way imaginable every day. It grows like a weed and seems to have few garden enemies. 
Used fresh the curly variety is high in amino acids, aspartic and glutamine, and also rich in vitamins and minerals. The Chinese believe that parsley, which is loaded with luteolin, is a very beneficial in alleviating disorders of the eyes.
The central Mediterranean.
Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. 
Planting and Care: See below, Flat Leaf Parsley
Variety I've Planted: "Forest Green" I found this parsley to be especially wonderful in the highlands of Guatemala. It grew like a weed. We used it in almost everything we cooked and fresh in salad and in dozens of other ways.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013


**Flat Leaf Parsley, Italian Parsley, Chervil Herb Petroselinum neapolitanum
First lost to the volcanic eruption in July of 2003, we replanted this most essential herb many times, both in the garden and in pots by the terrace.
Benefits: The flat leaved Italian variety is more chic these days. Either one is delicious and can be used liberally every day in every way!
Photographed: In our herb garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: In a tropical environment plant parsley in moist well-drained soil and fertilize it regularly. In the Caribbean, flat leaved Italian parsley and frilly leaved parsley both seem to prefer semi shade to full sun to thrive. Overall the flat leaved variety wins my vote as it was always much healthier than the curly variety in the Caribbean. On our terrace garden in Taxco, Mexico, we were able to keep our potted frilly parsley plant alive and thriving for at least four years. In Montserrat, parsley plants are viable for no more than one year; more often than not, six months is the limit. In the environment at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, our frilly parsley has been thriving for almost a year. The plant is said to be a biennial so I have my fingers crossed.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2008 and © 2013

**Pawpaw See Papaya Above
**Peace Lily See The "S" Page -- SPATHIPHYLLUM

**Peanuts, Groundnuts Arachis hypogaea L.
A few years ago I planted some peanuts just to see what happened. As it turned out peanuts are beautiful plants that produce tiny yellow orchid like flowers; they would find a welcome place in any tropical flower garden especially used as a border planting. There are two types of peanuts. The erect type has upright stems which is what we have grown (remember the seeds come from the supermarket). Prostrate peanut stems grow on the ground and have the advantage of a higher yield with all peanuts ripening at the same time. This is the one to plant if you are commercially minded about your peanut crop.
Benefits and Risks: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a staple children's food when I was growing up and I never lost my taste for them. Sadly, it seems something has been done to commercially grown peanuts in the States because I now have an allergic reaction to US produced peanut butter. Maybe they've been genetically modified or maybe it is something else, but it seems fewer and fewer people are able to eat peanut butter so the health benefits of eating peanuts is meaningless. Thanks Monsanto, I can no longer eat a food I have loved for 50 years.
Peanuts are native to Brazil.
Harvesting: About five months from the date of planting the leaves of the peanut plants will begin to turn yellow -- this is the time to harvest. Dry the plants with the peanuts still attached to the roots for two to three days before shelling and eating the fresh peanuts. Ideally you should get about forty peanuts per plant. We've never done that well, but then we aren't Jimmy Carter!
Photographed: In our upper garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care:
1. First buy some unroasted natural peanuts at your local supermarket. If they are fresh and taste good, husk them and remove the papery seed covering. In your garden, plant each peanut about two to four inches deep and about four to six inches apart in the row with rows about three feet apart.
2. In a few weeks the plants will be up and you can thin them to about one foot apart in the row (if you are determined to have lots of garden grown peanuts). I leave them at four inches and still enjoy pulling up the plants and finding -- PEANUTS! And, I especially enjoy having a row of such beautiful plants.
3. Peanuts prefer to grow in full sun, but will tolerate a little shade. They like a fertile sandy or loose soil with a pH of about 6 if they can have it and regular rainfall or watering. Boron is one of the very necessary components of good peanut growing soil and we are fortunate here in Montserrat to have the active Soufriere Hills Volcano producing the boron so essential to peanut plants.
4. Your peanut bed should be moved after two years to somewhere new in your garden.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and © 2013
**Pear See The "A" Page AVOCADO
Peas Pisum sativum
This is one vegetable I have had no luck with here in the Caribbean. Maybe it is just too hot. I welcome any advice or suggestions.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007
Nuts have over the years faded in and out of popularity among nutritionists, but one has to admit nuts have been a staple in the human diet for thousands of years and that can't be an accident. They taste wonderful and they are good for us. Pecans are especially good for us because they are an excellent source of Vitamin E.
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007 


Pelargonium paniculatum Jacq Cranesbill (no common name yet)
This is a very odd looking succulent with flowers that seem very much like those of some geraniums I have known.
South Africa
Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2012

**Pencil Tree Cactus, Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Aveloz, Milk bush, Petroleum Plant Euphorbia tirucalli
This cactus has relatively hidden spines, tiny leaves and looks very much like it should be growing under water.
Its sap is said to be poisonous enough to be used on both rats and insects.
From: Africa
Photographed: In our front border gardens at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care:
The pencil tree cactus really is a tree and it likes to get to that size very quickly. It is easily propagated; just stick a stem in the ground and soon it will be off and running. Plant it in the sun and give it routine rainfall or watering until it has taken. Then you can let it be pretty much on its own and it will do just fine. It is tropical and would not take well to a winter of any kind.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2008/2010/2013


Pencil Tree (2), Firesticks, Aveloz, Indian Tree Spurge, Naked Lady, Sticks on Fire Euphorbia tirucalli rosea
It was interesting to see this pencil tree growing in Rhode Island, a small state in the northeastern US, when my experience with one was in the Caribbean at our former home in Montserrat. This one seemed sunburned which compared to sunburns plants can get in the Caribbean seemed greatly overdone. As it turns out this is a pencil tree of a different color so to speak.
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Note: "E. tirucalli is a hydrocarbon plant that produces a poisonous latex which can, with little effort, be converted to the equivalent of gasoline. This led chemist Melvin Calvin to propose the exploitation of E. tirucalli for producing oil. This usage is particularly appealing because of the ability of E. tirucalli to grow on land that is not suitable for most other crops." From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

**Pentas, Star Cluster Pentas lanceolata
Our lavender pentas arrived in our deck garden on their own and did well enough with no help that I thought I was dealing with an attractive weed. As it turns out pentas are tough perennials with long lasting blooming periods with red, pink, or lavender flowers.
From: Africa
Photographed: In our deck garden at our former home in Montserrat in the Caribbean and at Hotel San Buenaventura in Panajachel, Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Pentas are said to prefer a sunny location, but I have seen lovely ones growing happily in semi shade. Watering doesn't seem to be much of an issue aside from reasonably regular rainfall.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010

Peony Paeonia officinalis
This is just about my favorite flower in the whole world and it smells wonderful too!

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013


This is apparently a large family of plants, but they do appear to me to be very distant cousins. That being said, a lot of them are very attractive and I've had many living happily as house plants.


Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

**Peperomia, Radiator Plant Peperomia sp.
Until a recent visit to Guatemala, I had never seen Peperomia growing outside in a garden as in the photograph on the right. They were always house plants. Their thick shiny leaves are very appealing.
From: South America
Planting and Care: This is not an uncommon house plant where it will live in a partially sunny window just fine. Water it when the soil feels dry and try to avoid getting the main stem wet. In a warm climate garden plant them where they will receive bright light, but not direct sun. Give them a rich organic soil, watering occasionally if it doesn't rain.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010 and © 2013

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.
As you can see this is a tolerant plant handling deep shade to partial sun with equal ease.


Peperomia Peperomia ferreyrae
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Planting and Care: This plant is not frost hardy, but it requires little care to be at its best as it prefers rather less water rather than more and it likes a semi shady situation in the garden.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

No Longer a Mystery thanks to Peter at http:www/


Red Edge Peperomia, Red Margin Peperomia Peperomia clusiifolia
It came as a surprise to me to learn that peperomias are in the same family as the plant that gives us black pepper. These are relatively easy plants to care for and their foliage is appealing all around the year.
Tropical America
Photographed: Badly at the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand.
Planting and Care: These are sub tropical or tropical plants so they like it warm. They will do well in bright shade or semi shady areas of the garden in a loamy soil with good drainage and routine rainfall or watering.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

My #14 Plant Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many Thanks.


**Watermelon Peperomia Peperomia sandersii or Peperomia argyreia
This is a very appealing plant I think especially as a house plant for its ease of care and attractiveness.
Warm places in South America
Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand
Planting and Care: This is a warm climate garden plant that likes a semi shady garden home or a northern climate house plant that wants a bright window with no sun. Either way don't let it dry out too much.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

My #33 Plant Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many thanks for your help.


Peppermint, Candymint
Mint plants are hearty and once set in and thriving they will spread underground. They are perennial and they can quickly take over your garden. This is a wonderful plant, but it might best be grown in a pot. 
Benefits: I have personally found peppermint tea to relieve digestive upsets. I pick several fresh leaves from my plants and steep them in boiling water for 5 minutes or so.

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013


**Italianelle Pepper, Friariello Pepper, Sweet Frying Pepper, Sweet Italian Frying Pepper
This is a pepper that is not as attractive as many others, but is very popular in Italy as a sweet frying pepper. I bought a packet of seeds with a photograph of long light green bumpy peppers when we were traveling in Italy. I had in mind the hot Italian dried peppers my husband loves, planning to surprise him when we were back in Montserrat. It was me that got the surprise. On the first harvest I thought I was picking chile chilacas a true medium hot pepper favorite from Mexico. It was a week or so later that all came together and I figured out what was what in the pepper garden.
From: Probably Italy as the names imply
Photographed: In our mahogany garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Like all peppers the Italianelle prefers sunny weather and routine rainfall or watering. In the Caribbean they will tolerate a bit of shade and do just fine.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2009

Pepper, Black See The "B" Page -- BLACK PEPPER


**Green Peppers, Bell Peppers Vegetable Capsicum spp.
One of the delightful things about growing sweet peppers in a tropical climate is that the plants truly are perennial. Once planted, they will grow and produce lots of peppers for as long as the plants are well cared for. Then they will take a turn for the worse, leaves looking sad and diseased as if the plant were on its last legs. But, within a few weeks you will begin to see new leaves and then new peppers and so on and so on. What a delight!
Benefits: When these green peppers turn red they are loaded with Vitamin C, more even than an orange.
Photographed: In our mahogany garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Peppers in the tropics will do just fine with a little shade, but they do need very regular watering. You can also leave the peppers on the plants a little longer than you might in a northern climate. Unless it is very hot and dry the peppers will continue growing until they almost resemble those "store bought" peppers -- big, deep green and crunchy. Fertilize them the same as you do your tomatoes.
Tropical Climate Varieties: Yolo Wonder, Keystone Resistant Giant
Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2009/2010 and 2014

**Pergrina See the "J" Page -- JATROPHA

Pericón Tagetes lucida

**Periwinkle Flowering Plant Catharanthus roseus or Vinca major or Vinca rosea
Our periwinkles in Montserrat were lost to the volcanic eruption of July 2003, but not long after, tiny periwinkle plants began appearing all over our garden. It is a friendly looking plant, not at all exotic, with small lilac, pink or white flowers. It fills in all by itself here and there around the yard.
Aside from being used as a treatment for high blood pressure, its leaves were a Carib curative for diabetes.
2. This unassuming plant produces vinblastine, a component of a drug used in the treatment of Hodgkin's disease and vincristine which has proved beneficial in the treatment of leukemia.
From: Madagascar
Photographed: The two photographs on the right were taken in brighter parts of our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat, in about 2008. We encountered it again on a visit to Viscaya in Miami and you'll see that plant in a photograph below.
Planting and Care: Periwinkles will grow just fine in the sun or in the shade as long as they receive some very occasional rainfall or watering and a once in a while dose of fertilizer.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and 2014

Photographed: In the garden at Viscaya in Miami, Florida, in 2014.

Perslane See the "M" Page -- MEXICAN PURSLANE
Peruvian Apple See the "A" Page -- APPLE CACTUS

Peruvian Lily Alstroemeria psittacina
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010



Peruvian Old Man Cactus, Cotton Ball Cactus, Snowball Cactus, Snowball Old Man Espostoa lanata (Kunth) Britton & Rose
Benefits: At one time its wooly hair was used to stuff pillows in Peru.
From: Southern Ecuador and Northern Peru
Photographed: All three photographs below were taken in the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily.
Planting and Care: This is an easy to grow plant that is cold hardy and will thrive in full sun in fertile well drained soil. Like most cactus it likes a cool dry winter. It will bloom in late spring and produce edible fruit if you are lucky.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2012



There are a variety of natural organic pesticides available to gardeners who do not wish to use more commercial and more dangerous insecticides. This is not to say that because something is organic that its use presents no risks. Below are listed a few of the organic materials I have come across over the years.

Barbasco Root Lonchocarpus nicou
This is a similar plant based poison to rotenone described below. It is extracted from the root of the plant and used as a fish poison by people living in jungle areas in South America. I have no personal experience with its use.

Neem Tree Products
The most potent pesticide to be retrieved from the neem tree is found in its seeds, but these can be very difficult to harvest on a non-commercial basis. If you have a neem tree in your yard as we did, I would love to hear your ideas on how to collect the seeds. That being said, we have had good luck simply soaking lots of the tree's fresh green leaves in a large bucket of water for a few days. We strain it and use the liquid in a commercial back pack sprayer.
It doesn't smell wonderful, but it does work.

From memory I regard this as a real helper in my New England gardens. It was sold as a natural plant material based insecticide and it worked wonderfully on aphids and most other average vegetable garden bugs with a very light application. It did not work on tomato horn worms and other such horrific creatures, but it did surely make gardening a lot more rewarding than it might otherwise have been. Rotenone was used originally as a fish poison by people living in South American jungle regions so it should be kept away from or not used near running fresh water streams or in areas where any rainfall will send it quickly into ponds, lakes or the ocean.

1. Soap is a wonderful alternative to more dangerous chemicals. To treat a variety of insects we use a professional insecticide sprayer, but ours is filled with soapy water which works just fine. Use a light mix of a lemon scented powdered clothes detergent (the simplest you can find). A light mix might be about 1 teaspoon mixed into one quart of water. Spray this on in the evening as sometimes the bright tropical sun can burn plants with a recent wet soapy residue.

2. Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 cup of vegetable oil and use 1 tablespoon of the mixture in 1 cup of water.
Test one plant first to see if there are any negative effects. Apply as a spray and check 24 hours later. I haven't used this mix, but if you do let me know how it works for you please.

Pungent Smelling Greens

In my continual attempts to fool the bugs, caterpillars, wasps and other nasty critters, I came across a very basic idea. Many of the nasty creatures find my beautiful plants by smell so I fool them. I take whatever I have lots of that have strong smells (hot peppers, garlic, onions, or other traditional non-attractants) and I mix them in the blender with a bit of water. I strain the mixture, add more water if I can without diluting the smell too much and then spray it on my most vulnerable flowering plants whether ornamental or vegetable. It works wonders, so who needs the stuff that gives kids cancer?


Powdery Mildew
This is that ever enlarging area of white on your normally green plants. It doesn't look too terrible until everything is pretty dead, so best to stop its spread as soon as possible.

1. Mix and then shake the following ingredients well and spray your plants top and bottom in the late afternoon.
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 gallon water
2 drops liquid detergent
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

2. Mix and then shake the following ingredients well and spray your plants top and bottom in the late afternoon.
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 drops liquid detergent
1 quart water

3. Mix 1 part milk and 9 parts water and spray affected plants

4. Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 quart water and spray affected plants


Malathion, learn why at:

Also See The "L" Page:



Photographed: In the garden at our former home in Montserrat.

**Petrea, Queen's Wreath, Sandpaper Vine Flowering Vine Like Bush Petrea volubilis
This is the vine-like bush that lived under and in and around the branches of our red flamboyant tree. The papery leaves are pretty and its long sprays of blue flowers are really lovely.
From: It originated in tropical America.
Pruning: Petrea will take very well to a hard pruning as we discovered one year. One of ours had grown completely out of control and had attached itself in an unattractive way to our bamboo. I cut it back severely and in short order it was bushy and beautiful. I would recommend doing this sometime during rainy season or at a time when you will be watering.
Landscape architecture: Petrea is a wonderful tropical cousin to the appearance of a wisteria vine in the north. It can be trained to a trellis in much the same way although sadly its similar flowers don't have any noticeable scent.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/20

Photographed: In the garden at our former home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In the garden at the Hotel Atitlan in Panajachel, Solala, Guatemala.

Photographed: In the garden at the Hotel Atitlan in Panajachel, Solala, Guatemala.


Photographed: In the garden of our home at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2015.


Philippine Jade Vine, Emerald Vine or Turquoise Jade Vine Strongylodon macrobotrys
If you have room in your garden, this is one of those vines you just must have because it is so extraordinary. You will be doing the world a favor as this plant is endangered by loss of habitat.
The Philippines
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This woody vine is best planted in a moist environment in a semi shady area. It is not cold tolerant.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013



Philippine Orchid Medinilla magnifica
I found what I thought to be two separate very appealing plants and only later learned from a friend in Germany that they were one and the same. Medinilla magnifica is an epiphyte most suited to hot humid tropical climates or to a life inside the comfort of a well heated home in more northerly places. It normally grows in the crooks of large trees and can reach the enormous size of nine to ten feet.
The Philippines
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Flower Mysteries 4 and 20 were solved by my friend Ursula G. living in Southern Germany

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, 2013

Photographed: In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013.

**Phlox Phlox paniculata
This is a very old, sweet smelling lovely flowering plant found in absolutely every one of the best gardens in New England (at least when I was a child).
Photographed: In the Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and at the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine.
Planting and Care: Phlox like sun and a reasonable amount of rainfall or routine watering. It is best to keep water off the leaves when you can because the downside to this plant is its susceptibility to downy mildew. It is very winter hardy, but does not require a period of deep cold each year as do some plants like rhubarb.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013 


Pigeon Pea, Dhal, Red Gram Cajanus cajan or Cajanus indicus
From: South Asia or the East Indies
Photographed: To the left a young plant, just below our deck garden at our former home in Montserrat. Below I took a photograph of a mature plant and a detail of the peas also in Montserrat in our upper terrace garden
Planting and Growth: This plant is ideally suited to the Caribbean summer environment -- hot and dry. It is very adaptable to soil conditions growing well in acidic or sweet soils. Plant it in full sun or with a little shade and it will do just fine producing lots of pigeon pea pods to keep you busy shucking peas while chatting with friends in the evening. We spent many an evening this way with friends in Tobago and with not a few rum and cokes.

Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2009 and © 2012

Pigsqueak Bergenia cordifolia
This is a lovely foliage plant especially since it will thrive in shady conditions. Best of all it has very sweet blossoms in the spring. It will grow to be about 12 inches high and equally as wide.
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010 and in 2012.
Planting and Care: This plant prefers a semi shady or shady place in the garden in an area that is usually moist and has woodsy soil. It is easy to care for and once settled in, it is tolerant of some mistreatment by nature or even by us.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013


**Pineapple Ananas comosus (L.)
We planted our first pineapple at our home in Taxco, Mexico. I cut off the leafy
top of a pineapple, let it dry in the sun for a few days and then planted it. It made a great potted patio plant, immune to all of Taxco’s bugs. After a couple of years, it bloomed and then came a tiny pineapple. It grew and finally ripened and we had our own fresh pineapple juice with a touch of rum to celebrate. It was the most delicious pineapple we’ve ever eaten. We also grew a few the same way in Montserrat, but sold our home there before the harvest. You might also benefit from knowing that the Hawaiian and Mexican varieties are relatively friendly plants. The Caribbean variety we had on Montserrat will shred your skin in a heartbeat.
Benefits: Pineapples are good sources of vitamins C, B1 and B2, and minerals phosphorous, calcium and iron. Bromelain, its wonder ingredient is an enzyme powerful in reducing the inflammation in arthritis and even in inflamed gums.
Apparently, the core of pineapples which is routinely tossed is the area of the fruit where you find a high concentration of bromelain, so eat up. The fruit may also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. Raw pineapple slices can be used to reduce the effects of insect stings and sea urchin wounds.
From: Tropical Central America and the West Indies
Photographed: In the terrace garden of our apartment in Taxco, Mexico.
Planting and Care:
Normally pineapples are planted using the sliced off leafy tops of the pineapple fruit. Set the tops to dry in the sun for a few days, then remove some of the lower leaves and set the plant in pot relative to the size of the pineapple. Plant it shallowly in enough dirt to hold it upright and not more. Give it very little water and set it in a bright, but not sunny area. Within a few days move it into the sun and give it a little more water each day, remembering that pineapples are bromeliads and live with very little moisture -- too much watering and they will rot very quickly. Pineapple plants love to be in full sun or dappled shade planted in slightly acid soil. The plants are not small, but will do just fine if living about one and one/half feet from each other.
It is also useful to know that using a sucker at the base of the fruit while it is still growing on the plant will produce a bearing plant in one year, while using the top leaves like we did will take two years more more to bear.
Once the plant has flowered, you can expect your fruit to be ripe within ten months.
Harvesting: Pineapples are ripe when tapping them makes a dull sound.
Diseases and Insects: Nematodes and fungus are two to watch for.
This link will lead you to a page with excellent photographs for preparing a pineapple for planting. I couldn't have done it better myself.
This is another very good site. With these two you should be off and running.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008

Pine Cone Ginger See the "G" Page GINGERS -- Pine Cone Ginger

To see a picture of the yellow Cassia Tree just click the pic

**Pink Cassia Tree, Pink Shower Tree, Yellow Shower Tree Cassia grandis L. if. or Cassia javanica (pink) or Cassia fistula (yellow)
The pink cassia tree is beautiful with its lush covering of long lasting luscious pink flowers.
Benefits: Its attractive long and round very dark brown seed pods provide a pulp that is said to act as a laxative.
From: It is originally from Java
Photographed: The pink flowering tree was photographed in our garden at our former home in Montserrat. The yellow tree was photographed by the side of the road in Woodlands, Montserrat.
Planting and Care: The cassia usually grows to about thirty feet tall and normally blooms in Montserrat in May. Sadly, we had to cut ours down and have it removed because it had been so ravaged by termites. The tree stump left was only about a foot high, but branches soon began growing sideways from the stump. It looked like a very bizarre bush as the branches extended about ten to twelve feet from the two foot high stump. We had the space for it and we had the guilt to deal with it so we let it grow. But, we had planted a Mexican lime tree nearby and as the Cassia grew it invaded the lime tree's space. Even when I cut branches from the cassia that were touching the lime tree, within a few days more cassia branches would be touching the lime tree. They were definitely not friends. So....the cassia had to go as we are desperate to have fresh limes. What is especially good news is that there was a small volunteer cassia growing in our hedge garden. We have transplanted it and it is off and running.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010


Pink Trumpet Tree, Pink poui, Pink Tecoma, Rosy Trumpet Tree, Pink Trumpet Tree or Savannah Oak Tabebuia rosea
This is a tree I had read about when trying to learn about our yellow poui trees in Montserrat. I never saw one until we visited Sicily.
Benefits: It is believed to have significant medicinal benefits for a variety of illnesses.
From: Mexico to northern countries in South America.
Photographed: At Villa Giulia in Palermo, Sicily, in 2012.
Planting and Care: This is a warm climate tree that prefers a place in full sun with a medium amount of rainfall or watering. In tropical places it is often used to line residential streets because of its delightful blossoms and ease of care. .
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

To see the Yellow Poui Trees in our former garden please click here They were glorious!

My #4 Tree Mystery was solved by Glenn a visitor to my website who lives in Brisbane, Australia. Many thanks for your help.


**Pink Powder Puff, Pompon De Marin, Surinam Powderpuff, Surinamese Stickpea Calliandra surinamensis
I looked at lots of photographs of this tree and honestly couldn't tell the difference between it and a mimosa tree called Albizia julibrissin. I can see I still have a thing or two to learn about plants. Years ago I gave up on Peterson's Guide to Birds because I honestly couldn't tell one from another. Looks like I may just have to rely on an expert!
At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in May of 2010.

Tree Mystery solved by Ursula G. living in Southern Germany
and by our friend Inge in Sweet Home, Oregon

Pink Shower Tree -- See The Pink Cassia Tree Above
**Pink Trumpet Vine Sporran R.
This is a very hardy vine with delightfully delicate pink flowers seemingly all the time. It is not the most showy or extravagant of flowering vines, but it surely has a place in any garden needing a real trouper of a plant.

Photographed: In our new garden in Panajachel at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013


Pistachios Pistacia vera
The pistachio is one of those dream nuts that in Sicily where they grow produce the worlds best pistachio ice cream -- my favorite. There the ice cream is not bright green and tasting of almonds as we know it in the States. It is a muted green filled with nuts and a flavor I regularly dream of.
Benefits: Pistachios have now been added to the green tea, kale bandwagon, and I ask only that you use your brain and try to conceive of one plant that is going to appreciably change your life or health.

Take a tour of Sicily where the best pistachio gelato in the world is made.


Pithy Thai Dragon See the "H" Page -- HYLOCEREUS UNDATUS


Pitaya See the "H" Page -- HYLOCEREUS UNDATUS

Plectranthus Mona Lavender
This is an easy to grow annual that will fill in your shady garden with some delicate color.
Photographed: In the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Planting and Care: This is an annual that will grow to be about a foot or a foot and a half high in a shady or semi shady part of your garden. It likes a good fertile soil and regular rainfall or watering.
Plum Rose See the "R" Page -- ROSE APPLE 

**Poinciana Tree, Royal Poinciana, Flamboyant Tree Delonix regia
The deciduous poinciana can grow to 50 feet, though the ones here in Montserrat never seem to get that tall. Even so, its branches seem to spread as wide as the tree is tall with feathery leaves resembling ferns. In our garden on the island, our poincianas usually begin blooming in mid-May and continue through July. We have two red and one orange flowering tree, all of which are very beautiful. Some of last season's long flat seed pods, often more than one foot in length, remain on the trees as the new flowers appear. Poincianas could be easily mistaken for jacarandas until they begin to bloom.
Madagascar, Africa and/or Costa Rica
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care:
These lovely trees seem very tolerant of light variations growing well in full sun or in shade, but they do seem to prefer regular rainfall. Sadly, they are EXTREMELY vulnerable to termites so they are best planted in very sunny and even slightly dry areas. Whenever we see a termite track on one of our trees we spread boric acid on the ground after rubbing off the track, exposing the termites to sun. We tried using a strong soap solution, but it had no affect of the termites.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010


Poison Arrow Plant, Bushmen's Poison Acokanthera oblongfolia Hochst. Codd
This is an attractive flowering bush that when I got to take its picture had begun to fade from glory. I couldn't resist including it here with so many of my favorites so there you are.
From: Africa
Photographed: In the Naples, Italy, Botanical Garden 2012

Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2012


**Pok Choy Vegetable Brassica rapa
This is our favorite vegetable for stir fried Chinese food. AND, it grows wonderfully all over the Caribbean, even in Montserrat as you can see from the photograph to your left. These were young plants growing in our herb garden as a temporary filler plant, followed by yet a few more square feet of basil.
Benefits: Pok Choy is one of the latest foods to be deemed essential to human life and a cure for everything that could ail you, especially something to do with your heart. Pok Choy is loaded with vitamin A and is delicious. Surely it can't hurt you, but I haven't noticed that it appreciably improved our physical health.

From: China
Planting and Care: As with most everything in this tropical setting, it is best to start your plants in seed trays. When they start to grow, fertilize them well with something like Miracle Grow, move them toward a more sunny location everyday and keep them moist. When they are about three inches high, transplant them to a sunny or semi shady area of the garden where the soil has been loosened to a depth of at least six inches. Fertilize them more than you ever thought would be necessary with good compost if you have it and give them lots of water. Watch out for hungry caterpillars coming from white butterflies; we spray with soap every other day or so.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010 and © 2015


Photographed: In our herb garden at our former home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In our garden at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2015.


Pokeweed, "Ushgush" Phytolacca americana
This was a wild plant in my childhood one we enjoyed arming ourselves with for our hysterically funny child wars. During its ripening fruit season we regularly arrived home almost unrecognizable with purple clothing and purple skin. It must have driven our mothers mad, but the memory of this period of childhood remains one of my fondest.
Benefits: Children love it! And, Wikipedia has this to say about it, "...some parts can be used as food, medicine, or poison if properly prepared."
The eastern areas of North America
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care: I wouldn't recommend it, if there are children in your area.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2015


**Polka Dot Plant Hypoestes phyllostachya, Hypoestes sanguinolenta
This is a colorful addition to a bright shade garden and the plants come in pink, white and red spots to suit all tastes.
Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala in 2010.
Planting and Care: These low growing shade plants are hearty, but do require moist soil and humidity in the air to be at their best.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2010


**Pomegranate Tree Punica granatum
The pomegranate is a wonderfully exotic fruit that is not only beautiful, but tastes good too. I had my first experience with them when in college in Boston, Massachusetts. Back in those days there was a fabulous food market just behind Beacon Hill where you could buy whatever you desired from fruit and vegetables to meat and fish. At Christmas time it was also a place to get your tree and garlands of natural greens.
The fruit of this tree is split open revealing seeds with a lovely red crisp jelly like coating. Take a bite, enjoy the coating and spit out the seeds. Grenadine, at least the real thing, is made from pomegranates and helps to make a truly memorable tequila sunrise!
The pomegranate is said to improve circulation and to be not only an especially powerful antioxidant, but a builder of red blood cells too.
From: Southern Asia
Planting and Growth: Plant your pomegranate tree in full sun in a warm climate in an area that is naturally a little dry. It is a lovely tree and apart from giving us its glorious fruits it has very appealing red flowers.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2008/2010 and 2015

Photographed: At a neighbor's home in Montserrat.

Photographed: In the (Ortobotanico) Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy, in 2014.

Ponytail Palm -- See the Palms and Sagos Page


**California Poppy Eschscholzia californica
This is one of the smaller continuously blooming poppy varieties and it is one of my favorites. In Montserrat I tried several times to get it past the young, just germinated, phase and it never made it. I read that they will grow in "poor, but well drained soil" which we had plenty of, but I didn't find it to be so. I am trying again at our new home at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala where I have also so far had no luck.


Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care:

Text Copyrighted ©KO 2008 and © 2013

**Mexican Poppy, Yellow Thistle, Yellow Poppy, Mexican Thistle, Goatweed Agremone mexicana
This plant was a gift of the winds as it simply appeared one day in our deck garden. I left it to grow as I always do with anything I don't know and was very happy when it matured.
Flowers: It is said to be an annual that will flower in the spring and summer and so far that is accurate.
From: Mexico and the Caribbean
Photographed: In our deck garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and growth:  I'd have to say this is one of those survivor plants that are lovely to have in any large garden or for those who do not have a green thumb as we say in the States of anyone who can grow plants at will. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and levels of moisture, but it does seem to prefer a sunny spot in the garden.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2009/2010
Mexican Tulip Poppy 'Sunlight', Mexican Sun Poppy Hunnemania fumariifolia
This is a perennial poppy which adjusts well to rocky relatively inhospitable places. Its flowers are bountiful and very appealing.  Benefits:
Mexico' highlands
Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: Plant this little beauty in full sun in one of the drier areas of your garden. It is used to living in difficult circumstances and will do so once it is established.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013
**Yellow Poppy -- See above "Mexican Poppy"

Yellow Horn Poppy, Yellow Horned Poppy Glaucium flavum
From: Just about everywhere from Europe and North Africa all the way to western Asia.
Photographed: In the Ortobotanico in Naples, Italy, 2012
Photograph Copyrighted © 2012

Poppy Mystery #1
This beautiful flower seemed to be an escapee or a volunteer in the sunny woodsy area in the garden. Its lavender flower and gray green foliage seemed almost too perfect.
Benefits: Poppies of all kinds seem especially delightful to me.

Photographed: In the Palermo Botanical Garden in Sicily, Italy.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2012

**Portia Tree, Indian Tulip Tree, Pacific Rosewood, Seaside Mahoe Thespesia papulnea
This is a relatively small tree with deep green heart shaped leaves, interesting yellow flowers and visually appealing fruits, although I can't imagine making a pie with them. Growing only to about forty feet, it has won its place here in our garden. When we bought our property this tree had been butchered with a machete or what is known in the Caribbean as a cutlass. Its main stem had been cut and its side shoots had become solid four inch thick upward reaching stems. In truth, the first time I saw the tree it looked like a very tall bush. I had committed to leaving in place anything that I couldn't identify until I learned more and this tree was one of the garden's survivors.
Benefits: If you were to get very hungry, its new leaves, flowers and golf ball sized bright green fruits are all edible. And, probably more appealingly it is prized for the lovely colors of its wood.
Medicinal Uses: The portia's bark, fruit and roots are all said to have medicinal benefits.
Photographed: On the side end of our property in Montserrat and in the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Planting and Care: Although the portia is reportedly native to mangrove swamps and should require lots of water, ours is living just fine on the dry end of our garden in full sun. It prefers a pH of from 5.5 to 6.5. One peculiar feature it has is that it attracts a relative of the cotton stainer bugs that feed on a similar type of tree, the sea hibiscus. The portia's bugs are red and black and seem always to be mating, reminding us of the love bugs in the New Orleans area woods.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted ©Krika 2008/2010


Portulaca See the "M" Page -- MEXICAN PURSLANE
This is one of those absolutely necessary components in your food and gratefully it's plentiful in fresh foods. It is not something to worry about unless you dine frequently at fast food restaurants. If you do, I wish you well because you have a lot of serious issues.

**Potato Solanum tuberosum
Ahhh....the potato, food of the Gods, the Irish and given to the world by the Incans of Peru! I tried growing chunks of a sprouting potato when living on the Caribbean island of Montserrat and had great luck with the plants coming up. However, they didn't last long as something killed them; I know not what. I tried again as I have had good luck even growing the plants in large buckets on our terrace in Taxco, Mexico, but with no luck once again. I found out later that the Montserrat Department of Agriculture had permitted diseased seed potatoes to enter the country. Within a short period of time, this precluded growing potatoes and a few other crops as well.
Benefits and Risks:
I'm of Irish descent so the value of potatoes is very evident -- they're life sustaining when the British take everything else there is to eat.

What I had always heard and didn't really understand was why you shouldn't eat green or sprouting potatoes. Now I know thanks to Yahoo. "The leaves and stems of both tomatoes and potatoes, members of the nightshade family, contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine. In potatoes, it is particularly concentrated when the spud starts to sprout and when the eyes and flesh turn green. But even so, a 100-pound person would need to eat 16 ounces of a fully green potato before solanine poisoning would occur. If you happen to have a taste for green potatoes, keep an eye out for excessive salivation, diarrhea, slowed pulse, reduced blood pressure and respirations, and cardiac arrest."

Potatoes are also loaded with potassium and for some people a potato makes a good muscle cramping fighter. For me, they work in an opposite way. If I eat a lot of potatoes, which I'm inclined to do, I wake in the night with cramping legs.

WARNING: Potatoes in Mexico, the US and now some varieties in the EU are GMO tainted. I would not recommend eating them.
From: Peru
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007 and 2013

**Pothos, Devil's Ivy (Leafy Vine) Epipremnum aureum or Epipremnum pinnatum
This is the popular hanging plant with green and white leaves that so many of us have in our shady windows up north. It is similar to a philodendron, but more attractive and just as easy to care for. Here in Montserrat pothos appears just as it does in New England until it finds something to grow on. Then it becomes an entirely different animal. The leaves grow to more than 12" and the vine that supports the leaves will be an inch or more thick.
From: S.E. Asia
Photographed: At the back our our property in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: It is extremely hardy and, though it prefers the sun, it will grow in low light as well.
Text and Photographs Copyrighted © 2008/2010
**Poui Tree See The "Y" Page -- YELLOW POUI TREE

Photographed: At the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

**Prayer Plant Maranta
This is a very common easy to care for cold climate in door plant. In warm climates it is a wonderful easy to grow shady garden ground cover.
From: Tropical areas of Central and South America and the West Indies
Planting and Care: It prefers to have just a little of everything -- decent soil, some bright light and a bit of water. It does also prefer a humid environment.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

Photographed: At the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.

**Pride of Barbados, Barbados Flower Fence, Dwarf Poinciana Bush like small tree Caesalpinia pulcherrima
This spiny bush like tree flowers almost the year round with bright yellow or combinations of pink and white or red and yellow petals. The stems have very sharp spines.
From: The West Indies or Central America
Photographed: In our garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Our property receives a fair share of rain for a place in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the average tropical soil does not absorb or hold moisture well so I'd have to give a round of applause to this plant that will even grow in Barbados an island much to our south and very dry in comparison to ours. My advice is to plant them anywhere there is full sun to semi shade and then sit back and enjoy. Pruning is a good idea and the plants do seem to do especially well when it is done.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2004/2010
To See More Varieties Click Here!
Pride of India Please See the "Q" Page -- QUEENS FLOWER TREE
Pride of Madiera Echium fastuosum
Photographed: In the Ortobotanico (Botanical Garden) in Naples, Italy, in 2014.
Planting and Care:
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2014

To See More Varieties Click Here!

To See More Varieties Click Here!

**Pumpkin Vegetable Cucurbita maxima
Pumpkin in the Caribbean is eaten as what we in New England call winter squash. It is a vine like squash plant, but it is virulent and tough. Instead of the gardener having to pile up dirt around a growth point, this plant will send down roots of its own along its growth path. It will grow in every direction and here and there it will grow a pumpkin which will become at least 20" in length and probably more in girth.
Eaten in their natural state, pumpkin seeds are said to rid your intestines of parasites. The seeds are also great sources of zinc, vitamin E and sulfur. The high levels of zinc in
pumpkin seeds may help in slowing hair loss.
Photographed: In our banana garden at our former home in Montserrat.

Planting and Care: Start plants in small containers and then set out in the garden spacing them about one yard apart. Work over the soil well adding lots of composted manure. When the flowers begin to bloom, take a look to see which are male and which are female. The latter have a tiny fruit just below the bloom. Take one of the male flowers and pollinate the female by doing what seems natural. This will greatly increase your yield if you have the same problem we have on Montserrat -- no pollinators.
Carefully wash the exterior of the squash. Cut it in half and clean out the seeds and membranes. Put the halves cut side up in a large baking pan in the oven at 350° F. When you can stick a fork in any part of the halves, they're done. Remove them from the oven and scoop the squash out of the skins with a good strong spoon. Mash the squash and cook it with lots of butter and brown sugar for a great treat.
Text & Photographs Copyrighted ©KO 2008/2010

Purple Angelica Angelica gigas
This perennial plant growing up to six feet in height could easily serve as a focal point in a garden bed. I found it striking and you may too. It blooms in the latter part of summer.
Benefits: This plant is known to have been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
From: Korea, China and Japan
Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: This plant will do well in full sun or semi shade along as it has moist soil.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Purple Bells, Indigo Iochroma Iochroma 'Indigo' Iochroma warscewiczii
This is an unusual flowering shrub that will bloom for months and months.
Benefits: This lovely plant will not only look good to us, it looks good to butterflies and hummingbirds too.
From: South America
Note: Contact with the sap of this plant can be irritating so it is probably wise to use gloves when working with it. All parts of the plant are very toxic if ingested.
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This plant likes to be in either full sun or semi shade.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010

** Purple False Eranthemum Leafy bush Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum or Purple False Eranthemum or Pseuderanthemum or Pseuderanthemum atropurpureum Tricolor
This is an unremarkable bush with mottled grayish green and subdued purple leaves. We had it growing in the shade in what we call one of our plant parking lots, a shady place to put plants that we aren't yet ready to plant permanently elsewhere in the garden. This plant was proudly given to us by a garden assistant a few years ago and might have earned a better place had I known that the bush flowers, though it has not done so in the shade.
From: The Pacific Islands
Photographed: In our shady terrace garden at our former home in Montserrat.
Planting and Care: Said to grow well in full sun to semi shade, I would have to say full sun did not seem a happy placement for this plant even after it had time to adjust to its move from a shady place. I think perhaps bright light would be best. It is happy with just a moderate amount of water and has in fact survived droughts when we were away for months at a time.

Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2009/2010
**Purple Horn of Plenty See the "D" Page -- DEVILS TRUMPET TREE

**Purple Passion Plant Gynura avantiaca
I found this furry purple plant in Panajachel growing outside and recalled having one as a houseplant when I was in college in Boston. I loved it then and still do.

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: As a houseplant this does very well hung in a sunny window and watered when dry. It is not at all fussy. Outside in a warm climate, I would plant it in a morning sun spot in the garden and make sure that it receives rainfall or watering on a regular basis.
Text and Photograph Copyrighted © 2013

Purple Sky Flower Duranta erecta 'Purple'
Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: This is one of those flexible plants able to live well in full sun or partial shade and able to put its roots into sweet, acidic or neutral soils.
Text & Photograph Copyrighted ©KO 2010
Purslane See the "M" Page -- MEXICAN PURSLANE

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