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Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
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Full
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Moderate

Moluccella laevis

Bells Of Ireland, Shell Flower
Lamiaceae (Labiatae)
Annuals

Though its common name implies Irish origin, this plant is in fact native to the Mideast. Grows 2 to 3 ft. high, 10 in. wide. Flowers are carried almost from base in whorls of six. Showy part of flower is a large, apple green, shell- or bell-shaped calyx, very veiny and crisp textured; the small white tube of united petals in the center is inconspicuous. Calyx-blossom spikes are quite attractive and long lasting in either fresh or dried arrangements; be sure to remove the unattractive leaves. Needs loose, well-drained soil. Doesn’t perform well in hot, humid climates. Sow seed in ground in early spring for summer bloom; in mildest climates, can be sown in fall for winter bloom. Usually grown as a winter annual in the desert. If weather is warm, refrigerate seed for a week before planting. For long blossom spikes, fertilize regularly.

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