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Apple-of-Peru Nicandra physalodes

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
nih-KAN-drah fy-sal-OH-deez
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This is an annual summer-blooming plant from Peru in the night-shade family that grows 2-5 foot high with blue flowers. Individual flowers only live for one day, but the plant produces a succession of flowers from summer to early autumn. It has escaped cultivation and naturalized in large areas of the US. It prefers disturbed areas and usually doesn't persist in the wild.

In the southern states, the juices from the foliage and roots of this plant were mixed with milk in a dish, which was set out to attract flies. When the flies fed from this concoction, they died. This is the source of the common name, Shoofly Plant.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#sun#poisonous#annual#summer#summer annual#container plant#weedy#blue flowers#seeds#pollinator plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#sun#poisonous#annual#summer#summer annual#container plant#weedy#blue flowers#seeds#pollinator plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nicandra
    Species:
    physalodes
    Family:
    Solanaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Peru
    Wildlife Value:
    The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract various kinds of bees. Like other members of the Nightshade family, the foliage is toxic to mammalian herbivores and not often consumed.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Poisonous
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is about ½" across and divided into 3-5 cells. It has a dry texture and is enclosed by an enlarged, papery calyx.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers axillary, nodding, short bell-shaped, pale blue with a white center.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The alternate leaves are up to 8" long and 4" across (excluding the petioles). They are ovate-cordate and sparsely pubescent.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Poisonous
    Weedy
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Unknown, but caution because of its close relationship with known toxic plants
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems