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Products > Solanum umbelliferum 'Midhill'
Solanum umbelliferum 'Midhill' - Bluewitch

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Perennial
Family: Solanaceae (Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Year-round
Height: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Solanum umbelliferum 'Midhill' (Bluewitch) - A small subshrub/perennial to 18 to 36 inches tall by as wide with half inch long elliptically shaped gray-green leaves. The 1 inch wide bright blue flowers bloom much of the year, with the best showing from midwinter to early summer. The flowers, with an attractive lime green spot at the base of each petal and yellow stamens, are followed by dark berries. Plant in full sun to light shade and irrigate infrequently to not at all - can flower longer and remain with nice foliage with occasional summer irrigation but otherwise will survive in the unirrigated garden by going summer dormant. It is cold hardy to around 15F and tolerates alkaline and clay soils. A very attractive, tough, hardy plant that survives well on neglect with bright blue flowers that stand out attractively against its gray foliage. A nice plant for a dry rock garden, perennial bed or as a container specimen with flowers that attract insects and fruit that attracts birds but is not browsed by deer. As with most plants in the Nightshade family, all parts of this plant are toxic to people and some animals. Bluewitch is native to Chaparral and Juniper-Oak Woodland plant communities from northern California to Baja California and east into Arizona, where it can be found growing on dry rocky slopes and canyons from sea level to above 5,000 feet. The name for the genus comes from the Latin name used by Pliny for a nightshade and the specific epithet is in reference its umbel-like inflorescences. It is also commonly called Blue Witch Nightshade, a name also used for Solanum sisymbriifolium, a species naturalized in North America after being brought here by English emigrants in the 1700s. This common name is thought to have originated with the belief that a nightshade planted near the front door entrance would counteract the effects of witchcraft. Our plant is a selection made by Kathy Echols of Midhill Farms in Martinez, California.  Information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it. We also will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips would aid others in growing Solanum umbelliferum 'Midhill'.