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Conservatory A-C

Conservatory & Stove Plants

With the recent growth of heated conservatories in the UK, many of you are now able to grow exotic stove plants that in the past were the exclusive domain of green fingered tropical enthusiasts.  I have chosen a selection of easy and difficult plants many that I have personally grown over the years, but deliberately excluded items I found impossible, despite the many seed catalogue assurances to the contrary. I hope this brings another dimension to your exotic collection that can be appreciated during the winter months in your conservatory, greenhouse or even in a sunny window.

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Abelmoschus

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Hibiscus Manihot - 10 seeds
Abelmoschus is a spectacular annual shrub like plant best treated as an annual in the UK. Huge 6” hibiscus like yellow blooms with a maroon central blotch. They do need heat to get going but a 6ft Abelmoschus plant with side shoots covered in these gorgeous blooms is achievable in a single season from seed. Very fast growing in heat, the large, attractive leaves can be used in salads, stir-fries, soups or other dishes.  A single leaf can cover a slice of bread in a sandwich and is used like lettuce.  The leaves are tender when raw but turn slimy if overcooked.  They are very high in nutrition.
Annual
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Abelmoschus moschatus

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Musk Mallow - 10 seeds
Abelmoschus moschatus or Musk Mallow can be easily grown in a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position. They will tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c and can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country. The plant grows as a shrub in frost-free climates reaching 5 to 6ft. Pretty pink or red flowers 3” to 4” across.
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Abelmoschus Moschatus Pacific Mixed

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Musk Mallow - 10 seeds
Abelmoschus Moschatus Pacific Mixed is a cultivated dwarf form of Abelmoschus used for unusual bedding in a warm, sunny position. They form neat exotic spreading bushes 12” to 18” of deep green foliage covered with numerous white-centred, orange-scarlet or light pink, Hibiscus-like blooms, each 3 to 4 inches across.
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Abutilon hybrids F1 Bella

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Chinese Hat Plant - Mixed Colours 10 seeds
Hybrid Abutilons make lovely conservatory plants. For 2006 we offer a mixed colour range of a new dwarf F1 hybrid suitable for summer bedding and over wintering under glass as a pot plant. Huge 10cm flowers in Apricot, Coral, Pink, Red, Salmon and White. New seed variety with terrific customer feedback but expensive to source.

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Adenium obesum mixed

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Desert Rose mixed shades 10 seeds
Adenium obesum are succulents that come from dry arid conditions on the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. They develop large fat trunks even after 2 or 3 months from seed called a caudex, for water storage. They start to flower when quite small only 25cm tall and make excellent house or conservatory plants well adapted to dry atmosphere conditions.
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Aechmea bracteata

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Bromeliad species 10 seeds
Aechmea bracteata, a delightful species bromeliad that clumps quickly into a great specimen plant. Native to Mexico and Belize to Brazil and Colombia. Popular as an ornamental plant; it is widely grown for its nice foliage and beautiful flowers. If pollinated, the red berries change colour to white and then turn dark blue. Sometimes a challenge to grow from seeds but they make an excellent interior plant that is easily cared for so well worth a try.
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Aechmea recurvata

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Bromeliad 10 seeds

Aechmea recurvata is a variable tough cold hardy species from the bromeliad family. It is a plant from Chile and Uruguay where I originally acquired seeds to grow our own stock plants. It can grow to a height of 60 cm but usually smaller and makes an excellent and unusual house plant. The purple flowered inflorescence protrude above the foliage and are quite spectacular, up to 20 cm tall and bearing different tints of red. The foliage consists of 30 cm long rigid and curving leaves that turn a spectacular red in the centre while it is in flower - absolutely stunning as you can see in the picture taken from our own flowering plants.

The ends of the leaves and the sides are a bit spiky the only slight negative about this plant, and they do need full but not burning sunshine when coming into flower to get the best colouration and water sparingly.

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Amorphophallus bulbiferer

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Voodoo Lily 5 tubils

We can also offer small 2cm to 3cm bulbils of this plant saving about a years worth of growing from seed.

Amorphophallus bulbifer is one of the prettiest of the Voodoo Lilies and the inflorescence doesn’t smell that bad compared to others of the genus. This Voodoo Lily likes shade plus a sheltered location and can be grown in pots outside for the summer. They are quite easy to grow and become dormant in the winter when it should be kept on the dry side. Once the tuber is mature enough, you will see a flower in the spring, otherwise just a leaf. Feed during the growing season

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Asparagus Ornamental Ferns

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Florists Fern 15 seeds
Asparagus Plumosas - An attractive fern like climber used by florists in bouquets with carnations etc. Non climbing in it's juvenile stage it makes a  small bushy house plant but eventually turn into a ferny climber, albeit with thorny stems.

Asparagus Sprengeri - This evergreen arching perennial has feathery, needle-like, trailing green foliage giving an open, loose appearance in growth. In summer the plant has small white flowers that are followed by bright red berries. The plant can grow 24 to 36 inches in height and to a width of 3 to 4 ft. It will grow in sun or even fairly dense shade, however, it would prefer some shade to maintain a darker green colour leaf

Asparagus Myersii - Evergreen arching perennial supports cylindrical sprays. The plant can grow to 4ft in height and to a width of 3 to 4 feet. It will grow in sun or even fairly dense shade, however maintaining a darker green colour leaf in shade.

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Bauhinia galpinii

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Red Orchid Tree or Pride of De Kaap - 10 seeds
Bauhinia galpinii is a scandent shrub from South Africa, easy to cultivate and requires little attention once established. The leaves are two-lobed, resembling a butterfly in shape, and 2-3 cm long. It bears a profusion of red flowers about 2-5 cm in diameter. Suitable for cool house but well worth trying outside in milder areas as if it is cut down by frost it can sprout again from the base. It produces its brick red flowers for a long period during the summer months from September to March but will also flower sporadically throughout the rest of the year.  Certain butterfly larvae feed on the leaves which might be useful for breeding tropical butterflies. Seeds germinate easily.

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Bauhinia variegata

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Orchid Tree 10 seeds
The Purple Orchid Tree is an exotic tropical tree that blooms over a long period of time. The flower is purple and orchid-like in appearance, though not related to actual orchids. The foliage is light green and deeply notched at the tip. Bauhinia variegata can reach up to 20 feet tall but smaller if pot grown. Easy to raise from seed.

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Bixa orellana

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Annatto or Liptstick Plant 10 seeds
Bixa orellana is a useful and very ornamental single or multi stemmed small tree to 6m, that can be kept smaller in a pot for conservatory or greenhouse use.  The terminal racemes of flowers in red, pink or white appear on the branch tips followed by bright red fruits of soft spiny capsules containing many seeds. Our seed taken from ornamental plants exhibits bright scarlet seed pods on two year old or more plants. A novelty plant as well as an excellent flowering ornamental that can be even used as a replacement for lipstick!!

Native to tropical America, Annatto, obtained from the oily arils of the seeds is the world's second most important (after caramel) natural colorant, yielding yellow to red colours. Not only was the dye used anciently to colour food, but also to dye cloth and paint the skin (which is still done today). The pulp surrounding the seeds is widely used in herbal medicine to treat a number of problems. The seeds are processed to obtain the orange-yellow pigments, bixin and norbixin (caratenoids), as dye for the food, cosmetic and soap industries. Traditionally, the crushed seeds are soaked in water that is allowed to evaporate. A brightly coloured paste is then made. In the 17th century the colour was used to darken chocolate. Worldwide trade in this plant has introduced it as a colouring to rice, meat, stews and stir-fries in many parts of the world, including Asia, and Africa, and is still widely used in South America and the Caribbean.

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Bolusanthus speciosus

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Tree Wisteria 10 seeds
Bolusanthus speciosus known as the tree wisteria is certainly one of the most spectacular of South Africa’s indigenous trees when in flower, mimicking the splendour of the jacaranda. This decorative, small to medium-sized tree is deciduous, dropping its leaves only for a short period in early spring. Normally multi-stemmed, so ideal for pot growing, the drooping, blue-mauve, fragrant, pea-like flowers hang from the branches in bunches, often covering the whole tree. Flowering time is from spring to early summer.

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Brunfelsia floribunda

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Yesterday, today and tomorrow flower 10 seeds
Brunfelsia floribunda is one of my favourite shrubs to grow in the conservatory, greenhouse or a favoured position indoors. The plant gets its name from the flowers that fade to almost white over three days. Dislikes full sun and is relatively pest free. Almost Bonsai in its habit as it ages with woody stems

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Cacti Mixed

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Mixed Cacti 15 seeds
Useful mix of cactus for anyone with a panache for spikes embedded in your fingers while potting up! Seriously though the flowers can be wonderful on a well grown cactus, they are easy to look after, and especially tolerant of dry conditions.
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Cacti Opuntia Mixed

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Mixed Cacti 15 seeds
Useful mix of Opuntia cactus many of which produce edible fruit.
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Caesalpinia pulcherrima

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Pride of Barbados 10 seeds
Caesalpinia pulcherrima with its spectacular, orange-red, exotic flowers lend a tropical effect to this well-adapted desert shrub. Can reach 6ft. high & wide in frost-free areas. Flowers constantly from spring to autumn. Fast growing, heat and alkaline tolerant. Lightly sand the seeds and soak in water for 6-8 hours, then germinate at 20-26°C.
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Caesalpinia pulcherrima Mixed

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Pride of Barbados 10 seeds
A mixed colour packet of these fabulous Caesalpinia pulcherrima  plants in Red, Orange, Pink and Yellow. Can reach 6ft. high & wide in warm frost-free climates. Flowers constantly from spring to autumn. Fast growing, heat and alkaline tolerant. Lightly sand the seeds and soak in water for 6-8 hours, then germinate at 20-26°C.
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Calathea lutea

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Cuban cigar plant 10 seeds
The genus Calathea, native to tropical America, consists of about 100 species largely valued for their decorative foliage. Calathea lutea is one of the taller species and can grow to a height of 2.5 m producing cigar-shaped brown bracts. The paddle-shaped leaves have attractive, reflective silver undersides.
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Calliandra haematocephala

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Powder Puff Tree 10 seeds
Calliandra haematocephala produces spectacular, orange-red, exotic flowers lend a tropical effect to this well-adapted A rambling shrub or small tree with branched pinnate, silky leaves and powder-puff-like balls of conspicuous dark crimson stamens. Fantastic looking shrub that can be grown and flowered in a pot with greenhouse protection.
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Cassia didymobotrya

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Popcorn Cassia 10 seeds
Cassia didymobotrya is a shrub to 3 metres high but smaller if pot grown. The bright yellow flowers are grouped in upright inflorescences, up to 30 centimetres long, arranged at the end of a long bent stalk. This plant is native of tropical Africa, widely used as an ornamental species in tropical and sub-tropical gardens for the chromatic effect of its flowers.
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Cassia fistula

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The Golden Shower Tree 10 seeds
Cassia trees are well known all over the tropics for their showy clusters of laburnum like flowers. Cassia fistula is probably the best known with large pinnate leaves and scented flowers. A lovely small tree if you have a large conservatory to try growing it in.
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Cecropia herthae

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Cecropia Tree 10 seeds
Cecropia herthae is an unusual magnificent, large, sparsely branching, stilt-rooted tree, native to humid forests in South America with big, round, palmate leaves on long stalks, divided to the base into many segments about 70 cm long. Although Cecropia herthae is a fast growing, adaptable, and a beautiful tree for the tropics it might be fun to try some small plants in a warm greenhouse or conservatoty.
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Cestrum nocturnum

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Lady of the Night 10 seeds
Cestrum nocturnum has one of the strongest fragrances around in the evening, when the scent becomes almost intoxicating. A common misconception is that it is only fragrant at night, however you can still smell a light scent all day long which increases in intensity into the evening. They bloom on and off during the warmer months of the year and grow quickly so regular pruning will be needed to keep it contained.

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Cyperus alternifoliius

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Umbrella Grass Pkt
Cyperus alternifoliius is a useful grass like plant for indoor use given plenty of light. Like it's sister the Papyrus it needs plenty of water to do well. Grows to about 2ft and easy from seed. A tough plant that only needs an occasional light trim of dead leaf stalks.
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Cyperus papyrus

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Egyptian Paper Reed Pkt
Cyperus papyrus or Egyptian papyrus reed produces the original paper made from the crushed and pulped stems. Easy to grow reaching 6ft to 7ft when mature. In the first year it makes a more manageable 3ft and is easy to grow from seed. Remember that it is a water reed and ideally will need to be left standing with the pot in tray of water. A decorative plant that we often grow as part of our summer bedding in a tropical border.
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Symbol Codes

Germination -- Easy Moderate and Challenging

Backlog for Fresh Seed Flavour

Hardiness - To -5°C җ To -10°C җҗ Fully Hardy җҗҗ

Needs Shady Position Sunny Position Water Loving