Plant of the month: April
Also Known As: Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Native To: Brazil
Blooms: Fragrant flowers. Opening purple, fading to lilac and eventually, white during late winter and spring
Habitat: Subtropical light woodlands and thickets
Where Found At BBG&G: Subtropical House
This ornamental shrub has very fragrant flowers which change colour, from purple, to lilac, and eventually white – hence its common name ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’.
Surprisingly, Brunfelsia belongs to the same family as the potato and tomato – Solanaceae! It is not hardy in the UK, so must it be grown in a warm glasshouse or conservatory where the powerful fragrance can be fully appreciated.
It can reach a height and spread of around 3 metres, but can be pruned to the desired height straight after flowering.
It prefers partial shade as a position in the sun can damage the delicate flowers. It also likes an acidic (ericaceous) compost, helping to reduce leaf chlorosis (yellowing of the leaves due to inefficient nutrient uptake).