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Blue Potato Bush, Lycianthes rantonnei.

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Blue Potato Bush, Lycianthes rantonnei. Flowers.
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Blue Potato Bush, Lycianthes rantonnei.
Flower.
Blue Potato Bush, Lycianthes rantonnei.
Leaves.

Blue Potato Bush.
Lycianthes rantonnei,Nightshade Family ( Solanaceae ), Blue Potato Bush: Also called Paraguay Nightshade, Blue Lycianthes, Royal robe, Solanum coniculatum, Solanum muticum, Solanum rantonetii, Solanum rantonnei, Lycianthes rantonetii.

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Lycianthes rantonnetii (Blue Potato Bush) is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae. It is native to Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. It is cultivated as an ornamental the world over.

The Blue Potato Bush is just one of about 150 species in the genus Lycianthes, which are found mostly in the tropical regions of the Americas, and some others which are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lycianthes is apparently closely related to the chili peppers (Capsicum). However, it was long confused with the nightshades (Solanum), and several little-known Solanum species which probably should be included with Lycianthes.


Quick Notes:

Height: Up to 10 feet tall. 10 feet spread. Normally about 6 feet tall. With a 6 foot spread.

Bark: Grayish-brown, thin, smooth.

Trunk: 3 to 8 inches in diameter.

Flowers: Lavender, purple, deep violet blue flowers, 1 inch in diameter (2.5 cm), with a yellow center. Inflorescence axillary, sub-umbellate cluster of 2-5 somewhat zygomorphic flowers; pedicels 15-25 mm long. Calyx 45 mm long; lobes 2 mm long, linear, 5 well-developed with secondary lobe sometimes developing between to give 10-lobed effect. Corolla rotate, 2030 mm diam., bright blue, upper 3 lobes with yellow patch at base. Anthers unequal, upper pair slightly smaller, c. 3 mm long, oblong.

Blooming Time: March through October in cooler climates. Sometimes year around in warmer climates.

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, elliptic to ovate, & slightly rough-surfaced, They are about 1.6 to 6 inches long (4-15 cm), & 0.8 to 3 inches wide (2-7.5 cm).

Fruit: A berry. sub-globose-ellipsoid with cordate base, 2730 mm long, yellow in color.

Seeds: Dark brown, 2.5 mm long, Stone cells numerous, c. 1.5 mm wide. About 24 seeds per berry.

Found: Native to Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. It is cultivated as an ornamental the world over. Grown in Arizona. Lower elevations, below 4,900 feet.

Elevation: Below 4,900 Feet.

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Habitat: Sunset climate zones: 12-13,15-27. Cold hardiness zones: 11 - 8b .

Miscellaneous: Once established, needs only occasional watering. Almost xeriscapic. Flowering Photos Taken August 08, 2013 in Yarnell, Arizona. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. Pruning time: winter. Light requirement: tree grows in full sun; Soil tolerances: clay; loam; sand; acidic; alkaline; well-drained; Drought tolerance: medium; Aerosol salt tolerance: moderate.

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