Nicotiana mutabilis

This plant, taller than I am, traveled 3000 miles to New Boston to live with me. I bought it, and two other Nicotiana cultivars, from Annie’s Annuals in California. I grew this flower in Tennessee where it remained small and reluctant. But I remember Elizabeth Lawrence, the best of American garden writers, writing that once she had seen the nicotianas blooming in New England gardens, she never again tried to grow them in her garden in North Carolina.

Mutabilis has large rosettes of basal leaves and long weeping arms drooping down from the main stem. It flowers all summer in pink and white.

When I was young I spent my study halls reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings over and over. I remember the story of the Entwives, who wandered away from their tree shepherd husbands, the Ents, to find fields and open places to plant their flowers and fruits.

This plant looks like an Entwife to me,sweeping her arms down into the garden, caring for her flower children.

Published by talesofanashvillegardener

Professional gardener, Experimental Cook. Constant Reader

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