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Plantidote of the Day 2012-03-05

twig's picture


Diosma, Coleonema

Breath of Heaven

If you like plants that bloom and bloom and bloom, here's one you'll love -- breath of heaven is a good-sized evergreen shrub (4 to 5 feet high) that always seems to be in bloom. The flowers are very tiny, maybe 1/4" in diameter, but there are lots of them. The flower color choices are limited to white and the pink-lavender above, but there is a variety called 'Sunset Gold,' which has yellow foliage and actually sounds pretty interesting.

Breath of heaven likes full sun, good drainage, light soil, and moderate water. The garden books say that if you break off a branch or crush the leaves, there's a nice fragrance. Since this one belongs to a neighbor, I haven't tried that. But maybe someone else has and can tell us what the scent is like.

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editor_u's picture
Submitted by editor_u on

(and without noticing the leaves) it looked like Forget-Me-Not.

It even seems to have some of the color variation of that lovely flower, though it might just be the light.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

but very dinky ones. It's hard to see the scale in that image, but the flowers are smaller than the bees climbing on them. When it gets a little dark out, I'll pinch off a branch and test the fragrance. The neighbors don't seem to be too crazy about people messing with their plants, so it'll have to be 'midnight gardening', if you know what I mean.

ygdrasl's picture
Submitted by ygdrasl on

this is on my bulletproof list for SF. The gold version doesn't get as tall, but it's a real hit of chartreuse out there.