Saturday, January 16, 2010

Seed Starting: Pumpkin on a Stick

From the pages of BH&G comes these cute little pumpkins dancing on willow branchs stuck into black mondo grass and beautifully captured in a 'Jarrahdale' pumpkin from Australia. I know I'm describing a beautiful scene but there is one inaccurancy. They're not pumpkins but rather a dried eggplant known as Pumpkin on a Stick, or Solanum integrifolium. The other common name is the mock tomato. The fruit are a red on the plant and when dried lighten up to an orange red.

Intergrifolium's culture is the same as the vegetable eggplant. The plants reach 3 to 4' tall with rather large leaves coming from a very thorny purple stem. I found one recommendation to grow in a high traffic area as a launching pad for hours of conversation. I would hope that traffic wasn't the pitter patty of little feet.

Since the red fruit, huge green leaves and treacherous purple stem make for a stunning display it's just a prelude to the captivating home arrange possiblibilities.

To dry the fruits, remove the leaves and allow to dry. I found a report of it taking considerable time to dry completely so the red becomes more of an orange.

I've seen seed packets from Botanical Interest. My friend the owner of a cutflower farm that sells its products to high end florists said she couldn't get any interest when she tried to sell it. And even if there was high demand, she wouldn't grow them again because she was getting pricked to death. Now she was growing six plants, I could see one as the ultimate thriller
in a very large container with the new 'Midnight Lace' sweet potato vine. I think its tough enough to hold its own and its more contained and less vigorous than the common black species.

No comments: