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Nicandra Splash of Cream in my gardenNicandra physalodes
Apple of Peru "Splash of Cream"

This Saturn herb is good for baneful magic, especially involving the symbol of the apple, whether that be in a spell repelling an unwanted lover or for inducing the opposite of wealth and abundance. This coincides with the folk use of this plant to get rid of pests, for which it is known as shoofly; in the American South, where it can become quite weedy, the sap of the plant was mixed with milk and left out for flies, who died after drinking it. Yet this plant itself is far less toxic than its baneful relatives, belladonna and henbane.  Nicandra physalodesThe pods of this variety of apple of Peru have some indigo on them; the leaves are splashed with cream and look quite nice. The flowers last only one day, but many are produced on each plant. The branches with pods can be dried for display. These seeds are from my own plants. Top

Apple of Peru grows typically 38"/1m tall, but in warm areas, it can become 8ft/2.5m tall. It's a native of South America but has naturalized all over the world. The Sambaa people of Africa eat the leaves of this plant, but I don't know if they treat them in some way first, like boiling them in changes of water. In Brazil and Madagascar, the leaves of this plant are used in folk medicine, and in Tibet, the poisonous seeds are medicinal. Birds eat the dry, green fruits, which contain huge amounts of seeds, and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillar form of all sorts of night-flying hawkmoths (sort of like its cousin, datura). I advise against eating any parts of this plant, but it is nice to grow just for display, and pretty much nothing kills it. Top

How to Grow Apple of Peru
These annual seeds germinate in 7-14 days at room temperature. Transplant 12in/30cm apart to full sun up north and partial shade down south. It will grow anywhere but prefers rich, moist soil. To save the seeds, let the pods dry on the plant and break open to harvest. To prevent this plant seeding all over, deadhead the flowers, which will also cause further flowering. Although this plant can aggressively reseed, it doesn't like growing in the wild, preferring human company: "disturbed" areas. This plant, like daturas, can act as a vector for plant viruses that attack tomatoes. It won't get sick from the viruses itself but can spread them, so don't plant it around your maters.
General growing info Top

Nicandra physalodes
Apple of Peru "Splash of Cream"
100 seeds $3.25


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If you like plants with puffy pods, take a look at Chinese lanterns

Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Baneful Work
Saturn Herb

2004, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission