Dictamnus

Common name: Gas plant

Dictamnus albus purpureus is a hardy deciduous shrubby perennial, that grows to 600-1200 mm (2–4 ft) high, with a similar spread.

The plants shiny aromatic pinnate leaves smell of lemons, and the aromatic spikes of rosy-purple flowers with their prominent stamens appear in July.

The plant gets its common name gas plant, from the fact that on calm evenings, it will emit an oil which will ignite if you hold a lit match under the flower.

The plant is toxic and may cause a skin rash,meaning it is advisable wash hands and or wear gloves when handling any part of the plants/s.

It requires an alkaline free draining soil and a sunny or parially shaded spot.

They dislike disturbance once they have become established, which can take three or four years.The seed can be sown insitu in a nursery bed or in pot/trays of seed compost and germinated in a cold frame. Grow seedlings on for another two years before planting them out in their final quarters.

Cultivation

Week 34-40: Collect fresh seed when the flowers die back and sow immediately.

The seed can be sown insitu in a nursery bed or in pot/trays of seed compost and germinated in a cold frame.

Once geminated, prick them out into individual pots and grow the seedlings on for another two years before planting them out in their final quarters.

Week 40: Plant out 500mm (18") in free draining alkaline soil.

Week 42: Prune plants back to ground level.





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