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Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants in gardens.
Species and varieties:
Lobelia x speciosa
A hybrid between Lobelia cardinalis and Lobelia siphilitica. This is a showy and dependable edging plant that is categorized as a perennial. Thick stems grow violet-purple flowered racemes.
Prefers moist, rich soil and will continue to self-sow once established.
Lonchocarpus violaceus (also known as the Lilac Tree) is a fast growing, evergreen tree native to Africa. Growing to an impressive height of 25-35 feet, the tree features a dense canopy and fragrant, lavender to purple-blue flowers in late summer and fall. The blooms are notably attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, adding even more beauty to the tree. It also produces long, slender seed pods.
Caring for your Lonchocarpus violaceus is relatively easy. Plant your tree in full sun and remember to keep it at least 30 feet away from power lines and your house. Water it during planting and for one year after, and keep the soil moist throughout the season. The tree is usually cold hardy down to at least the 30s F for a short time and should do well in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11.
Growing Lonchocarpus violaceus in a pot in cooler climates is possible. Plant it in a premium quality container soil and make sure to give it plenty of light and water. During the winter, move the pot in your garage or a protected area, as the tree may not be able to survive extreme cold temperatures.
Lotononis sericophylla also known as Silky-haired Lotononis is a small shrub, native to South Africa, that typically grows up to five feet tall. It has an attractive, soft, silky look with beautiful blue, lavender, and purple flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It is an excellent addition to any garden, especially if you are looking to add a pop of color.
To properly care for this plant, it should be placed in an area of full sun, with moderate amounts of water. Its USDA Zone is between 9 and 11. In colder regions, it can be grown in containers and brought indoors during winter months. When grown outdoors, you should ensure that it is well-drained, that it is lightly fertilized and watered during dry periods. Pruning is important to keep the plant from becoming too tall and lanky. Additionally, you should check for any pests that may be living on the leaves or stems, as plant is susceptible to attack from aphids and whiteflies.
In conclusion, Lotononis sericophylla is a great choice for gardeners looking for a small, colorful plant that is easy to care for. With its attractive blue, lavender, and purple flowers, it will add a stunning display of color and is sure to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Give it full sun and moderate water, and you are sure to appreciate the beauty of this special plant.
Goji berry is the common name for the fruit of two very closely related species: Lycium barbarum and L. chinense.
The plant produces a fruit that is often used in health foods and supplements and known for powerful antioxidant properties and potential benefits for cardiovascular and inflammation. The majority of these plants are grown in the north central part of China.
As a food, dried wolfberries are traditionally cooked before consumption. Dried wolfberries are often added to rice congee and almond jelly, as well as used in Chinese tonic soups, in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables, and herbs. Goji juice supposedly has extensive biological effects and health benefits. There has been rapidly growing attention for wolfberries for their nutrient value and antioxidant content, leading to a profusion of consumer products. Such rapid commercial development extends from wolfberry having a high ranking among superfruits. In the northern hemisphere, flowering occurs from June through September and berry maturation from August to October.
Read interesting article about Lycium barbarum.