Physochlaina orientalis

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The early-emerging leaves and flowers of this outstanding and hard to find perennial somewhat resemble those of another member of the nightshade family, eggplant (Solanum melogena).  But they make their appearance in April, well before any eggplant can venture outside in these parts.  The foliage disappears soon after flowering, sometimes re-appearing in fall.  A clump of Physochlaina orientalis in full bloom will be a highlight of your early spring garden, and just the thing to baffle and impress your horthead buddies.

Full to part sun; well-drained, humus-rich soil; 18"x12"; early spring; Zone 5

Propagated from seed; deep 3.5-inch pots

Photo: Flobbadob