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Iochroma

Solanaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Vines, Decorative fruit or berries

These fast-growing, evergreen vining shrubs from the forests of Central and South America have drooping tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers in clusters of up to 20 near the ends of the branches. Blooms from early spring through fall—or year-round in frost-free areas. Leaves are 5–8 in. long, 1 1/2–3 in. wide. Fruits are pulpy berries. 

Lax growth is best staked up, espaliered, or draped over a fence or wall. Prune selectively to maintain size and shape—and to keep flowers coming. Avoid pruning in late fall or when cold weather approaches. Hard pruning delays bloom. Protect from hard frosts. Cucumber beetles love to eat the leaves.

Iochroma cyaneum ‘Royal Queen Purple’ (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)
Iochroma cyaneum ‘Royal Queen Purple’ (photo courtesy of Richard Shiell)

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Iochroma cyaneum

Grows to 8 ft. or more, with dull dark green leaves. Stems and new shoots are covered with soft, grayish down. Narrow trumpets are 2–3 in. long. Blossom color of seedlings varies from blues through violets and deep reds to purplish rose and pink. All have a metallic sheen. Buy plants in bloom to get the color you want, or select named varieties. ‘Indigo’ is glossy violet-blue; ‘Royal Blue’ is a lighter, more brilliant blue; and ‘Sky King’ is a pure light blue. ‘Peachy Keen’ has peachy red flowers; ‘Royal Queen Purple’ has bright purple flowers.

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