Moluccella laevis BELLS OF IRELAND –
Despite its name, Bells of Ireland is actually a native of Syria and Turkey. Moluccella has been cultivated since 1570; the flowers are a symbol of good luck. Both the flowers and rounded, pale green leaves with slightly scalloped edges have a distinctive lemon/vanilla scent. The papery 2 to 5cm bells are densely packed along most of the length of the square stems that can reach up to 90cm. The white flowers are relatively small and inconspicuous but the green, bell-shaped calyx surrounding each bloom is large and showy and makes an ideal cut flower both dried and fresh. Enjoys a well drained position in full sun. H: 90cm W: 45cm approx.
Sowing Advice –
Sow Moluccella laevis seeds in spring in good quality compost or seed raising mix. Lightly cover with fine river sand or compost to their own depth. To hasten germination, prechill the seeds for 5 days in the fridge by sealing the moist sown seed tray in a plastic bag. Remove from plastic bag and place in a propagator or cover with a plastic lid in a warm place. We recommend germinating at 15-20 degrees C keep moist at all times, but do not saturate. Germination in 21 to 35 days. Pot on seedlings to harden off and mature before finally planting out in the garden after all sign of frost has passed. The flowers take around 90 to 100 days from seed to bloom.