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Petunia integrifolia (=violacea)
Wild Violet Petunia

This native of Argentina was first grown in Europe (Scotland) in 1831. Schultes claimed that the indigenous folk of the Ecuadorian highlands smoked the dried herb to induce feelings of flight, but I think that must be another petunia, because this one is not a highland plant. I have read of folks making a tea from the flowers with no ill effects, and some claim a sedating or mildly euphoric effect. On the other hand, a tea of the chopped leaves is supposed to be a good pesticide against Colorado potato beetle, tobacco hornworm, and some caterpillars, so be careful! I have been unable to find any dependable information about the toxicity of this plant. At any rate, this is a nice addition to cottage gardens, producing flowers with a balsamic scent (benzaldehyde), and because it is so easy to grow and so inconspicuous, if you have nosy neighbors and would like to grow a good Saturnian witching herb, this is an excellent candidate, particularly because it is the wild version, not the domesticated one. It therefore allows one to grow a wild nightshade that looks like a polite domesticated plant. :) Hybrids were being made between this and P. axillaris beginning in 1837. If you'd like to try your hand at it, get both and cross-pollinate them by hand with a q-tip or dedicated paintbrush or feather, since their natural pollinators don't visit both plants (bees visit wild violet petunia but hawkmoths visits wild white petunia). That means you can grow both and the seed will come true. This plant is also known as el shanin, violetflower petunia, Petunia violacea. Another great nightshade to know and grow. Top

Petunia integrifolia (violacea)How to Grow Wild Violet Petunias
Start inside 10-12 weeks before the beginning of warm weather in your area. Sprinkle the fine seed on moist planting medium and gently press in. Use bottom watering so the seeds don't get dislodged. They need a bit more warmth than many plants, 70-80F/21-27C, to germinate in 1-3 weeks. They get 12-18in/30-45cm tall and are on the floppy side, so space 18-24in/45-60cm apart.Nice in a pot, urn, or window box, where it can spill over. Flowers are smaller than the usual petunia and are fragrant but have a different scent than the white ones. They can be purple or fuchsia, depending on soil acidity. A Perennial only in subtropical climates; grow as an annual elsewhere and collect the seed to replant in spring or just let them reseed themselves--they do this very well. Seedpods are crispy little brown cones that form after the flowers drop. You can collect them, squash them to open the seeds, and sprinkle them in your garden where you want them. General growing info. Top

Petunia integrifolia (=violacea)
Wild Violet Petunia
100 seeds $3.75


 
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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Inconscpicuous Witching Herb
Flying
Moon Garden
Saturn Herb

2011, 2015 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission