Moluccella laevis – ‘Bells of Ireland’
Molucella it is also known as Bells of Ireland and Green Shellflower.
Often seen as a florists plant Molucca Balm can be grown in the home garden and you can grow it from seed.
This is naturally a tall growing plant with flower spikes to 60 – 80cm tall. The flowers are actually small and white, however they are surrounded by a large calyx, a good clear green, bell shaped and covering the whole flower stem.
This is plant from Turkey and nearby areas, so it is ideal for those with a mediterranean type climate.
Seeds can be sown directly in spring and germination will be best if they are stratified by being placed in the refrigerator for 7 – 14 days before planting.
- Best planted in a well drained humus rich soil, sow the seeds in shallow drills and water well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Seeds will take around 3 weeks to germinate and will require some warmth, so wait until the weather warms a little after winter. In frost prone areas, wait until the danger of frosts has passed before planting the seeds.
- The seeds need to be kept moist, however never wet and soggy.
- From sowing seeds to full flowering will take around 3 months.