Plant of the Month for October, 2018

Scopolia carniolica header
Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia

 (sko-PO-lee-uh  kar-nee-OH-lee-ka)

General Information:

Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia is rarely found in gardens. It has interesting shinny leaves that develop very early in spring, followed by low-key flowers at a time when few perennials are flowering. It has cream-yellow flowers while the main species, Scopolia carniolica, has chocolate-red flowers.

Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia by Robert Pavlis

Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia :photo by Robert Pavlis

It is also known as the yellow scopolia, European scopolia and henbane bell. It is a member of the Solanaceae family and also contains alkaloids which are poisonous.

My midsummer the plant starts dying back and goes underground until the following spring. It is reported to spread mostly by rhizome fragmentation but in my garden is has expanded very slowly. It has also not made viable seeds.

Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia : photo by Robert Pavlis

Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia :photo by Robert Pavlis

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 60cm (24 in)

Bloom Time: spring

Natural Range: Slovenia (Scopolia carniolica from European Alps)

Habitat: damp stony wooded hills, 1000 m

Synonyms:  Scopolia hladnikiana


Light: part shade

Soil: average to sandy

Water: average to moist

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9

Propagation: seed, division

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): rarely

Robert Pavlis