April 23, 2017

Button-sized Brilliance

Emilia coccinea - Tassel flower

Janine Pineo Photo | Emilia coccinea – Tassel flower

Once in a while, a plant surprises you. With its slightly weedy appearance before it blossoms, Emilia coccinea is one of those plants. And then, it blooms! The common name is tassel flower, for these scarlet-orange blossoms do resemble a miniature upholstery tassel. The catalog from The Heirloom Garden of Maine says it was “one of the most asked-about flowers on trial last summer in our garden.” It is easy to see why, with the brilliant, button-sized blooms swaying atop 16- to 24-inch stalks. Originating in Africa, this airy plant has been known for some time, but it wasn’t until 1839 that this member of the aster family got its reclassified name.

This week we are featuring heirlooms grown by The Heirloom Garden of Maine in Montville.