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Turquoise Puya

Psoralea affinis - Grape Soda Bush

Yes, it's really pretty, but that's not the only reason i grow it.  Psoralea affinis - the "Grape Soda Bush" - has flowers with a mouth-watering scent of grape Kool-Aid!  These delectable blooms appear by the hundreds all throughout Spring.  This Pea relative comes from cool, coastal South Africa and is untested in hot conditions.  It's extremely rare and almost never seen for sale.

  It's a fast-growing, evergreen bush with upright, woody shoots that get about 9 feet tall, unless pruned shorter.  It has unusual, slender leaves that resemble pine leaves.  It's quite an attractive plant even without flowers.  The butterfly shaped blooms appear in clusters at the ends of the shoots.  These fruit-scented blooms are about a half inch long and are a lovely shade of bluish-purple.  In full bloom, it's super showy.

Psoralea affinis - Kool-Aid Bush

It grows well here in San Francisco, where days are mild and nights are cool.  It's possible that it won't thrive if temperatures regularly get warmer than about 85 F (29C) and nights are warm (above 65F / 18C).  I suspect it could survive a few degrees of frost, but it's best to protect it from all frost.  It enjoys mostly-sunny conditions.  In warmer climates, it might need some afternoon shade.  It grows well in a typical, well-draining soil that's kept evenly moist.  In the right conditions, it's an easy and very enjoyable plant.

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Germinating the seeds

 

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