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Mystery (to me) Nicotiana?
Acouple of years ago I bought a plant at a 'Yellow Garden' open day. it grew tall and had arching branches with small dainty bell shaped flowers which were red, pink or white on the same stem. I was told it would need protection in winter but that is all I know about it. I took it into the back porch last winter and it survived and bloomed well in the summer. I took a cutting which has also done well. Do you know the name from this description? Is it a perennial or a biennial? Any information gratefully received!



It sounds like Diarama . . . if so, you've done well with it. Any chance of a photo?

3 Jan, 2014


Don't think Diarama can be propagated from cuttings as they're a monocot (similar to grasses)....was you thinking of Dicentra ? How tall is "tall" ?

Photo would be useful

4 Jan, 2014


Ah - you're right about the cuttings Badfish. Dicentra seems more likely . . .

4 Jan, 2014


I should have said the lady on the stall told me it was a type of 'tender tobacco plant' and it certainly has a nicotiana leaf. It grows about two and a half feet tall but the blooms don't look like the ordinary nicotiana at all and it certainly isn't sylvestris. It has branching stems with tiny individual bells so I can see why it sounded like diorama. I like it a lot and don't want to lose it and if it is a biennial it is probably at the end of the road. I'm sorry I don't have a photo but if it survives and blooms again this summer I will take some. I just thought someone on here would have it and know about it. Thank you for answering!

4 Jan, 2014


Hi, could it be a variety of N glauca, which is a fast growing, semi evergreen shrub, with long, arching, smooth, glaucus shoots, it has a height and spread of 8 - 10 ft, but is frost tender, Derek.

4 Jan, 2014


I just looked up Nicotiana at the bottom of this page, under 'N' of course, and found N. Suaveolens . . . maybe it's that Penny? (we're all dying to solve the mystery, lol)

5 Jan, 2014


I've just looked up at the bottom and I don't think it's suaveolens, Sheila, as those flowers are more starry I think, but it could just be the angle. Mine also has green 'fins' up the stems if that description makes sense. I thought the individual blooms seemed to change colour through red, pink and white although I'm not sure in which order! Anyway, whether they actually change or not, those 3 colours all appear on the same plant. (I'm beginning to doubt my own eyes now, as well as my memory!)

5 Jan, 2014


It may be Nicotiana mutabilis. This grows to 4 or 5 feet eventually and had pink and white flowers together on the same branches...hence the 'mutabilis' bit of the name. It can be kept going over winter if it is a small plant but is very easy from seed each Spring or also it seeds itself around.

8 Jan, 2014


Thank you Derek for that idea, however I now think that Volunteer is right because the description fits best. I'm really pleased to think it might seed itself around but I suppose this would mean digging them up and bringing them into the back porch for the winter. I'm going to look it up now and see whether there is a picture, but I'm fairly sure it is N mutabilis.

14 Jan, 2014


Yes! That's it! N mutabilis, although mine were more sparse and the red was much deeper. They do change colour! My eyes didn't deceive me! I'm not going mad after all!
Thanks again.

14 Jan, 2014

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