GAS PLANT, Mixed Colors, Dictamnus
Gas Plant is a relatively unknown perennial with outstanding garden performance, and a little flammable surprise! In the summer months, the whole plant is covered with a kind of flammable substance, which is gluey to the touch, and has a very fragrant, lemony aroma; but if it takes fire, it goes off with a flash all over the plant!
Update! Our 2018 plants are covered in Giant Swallowtail caterpillars (Papilio cresphontes)! Apparently this is common for this plant. If you love butterflies, or have children who love nature, gas plant is an excellent addition to your butterfly garden! See images.
The name "burning bush" derives from the oils produced by the plant, which can catch fire readily in hot weather, leading to comparisons with the burning bush of the Bible, including the suggestion that this is the plant involved there. The daughter of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaues is said to have ignited the air once, at the end of a particularly hot, windless summer day, above Dictamnus plants, using a simple matchstick. Limited supply.
The flowers of Gas Plant (Dictamnus) is similar in appearance to Fireweed (Epilobium), though they are completely different species.
Type: Hardy perennial
Location: Sun or part
Hardiness zones: 4-9
Bloom time: Summer
Seed size: These seeds are fairly large, round and shiny black
Seeds per pack: 3 large seeds
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds require a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.
If you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden.