One of those 'easy to grow plants' that adds masses of colour to the garden is Solanum Crispum. A strong growing plant that is fairly hardy it can reach 15ft (5m+) however it is usually pruned back to a much smaller plant.
Lovely lilac - purple flowers contrasted with bright yellow stamens, and yes they look like potato flowers (they are related).
The beauty of Solanum Crispum is that it flowers from late spring through to autumn, and it is a great plant to add ongoing colour to a sunny corner.
The problem with Solanum Crispum is that it is to easy to grow, some gardening writers are even a little afraid of it or so it seems. However if you are not afraid of a pair of Secateurs, or a hedge trimmer then it should not be a problem.
You could also look for Solanum jasminoides, it is tame, not at all scary, but not nearly as showy
Solanum Crispum Care
Although seen as hardy in cold winters it will be knocked back. so a protected position is best. Prune back in spring to around 3-4ft (1m+) to a nice bud. If you need to prune harder, do it in stages.
Sometimes treated as a climber and sometimes as an slightly unruly shrub, with a little support Solanum Crispum can be trained to cover a wall or fence.
Solanum Crispum Propagation
Easy from cuttings taken in autumn. A cold frame should be fine.
Solanum Crispum Varieties
- Solanum Crispum 'Glasnevin' is a slightly hardier cultivar,
- Solanum crispum 'album' is a white flowering variety.
Also known as the Chilean potato vine. The purple flowering version is readily available from nurseries usually from £10 - 12, the white variety is a little more difficult to find