Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' (Chilean Potato Bush) - Evergreen vining shrub that can be a free-standing shrub to 8 to 10 feet tall but given support to climb the stout branching shoots can more than double this height. It has broad elliptical green leaves that are a nice backdrop to the one-inch-wide fragrant star-shaped lavender-blue flowers with contrasting yellow stamen anthers that are borne at branch tips in profusion over a long period from late spring to fall. Fruit, which like most in this genus are poisonous, are occasionally set that starts off green, age to yellow-orange and then eventually darken to purple.
Plant in a well-drained soil in full to part sun and irrigate occasionally during summer months, which helps extend flowering. Cold hardy to 5° F. Flowers on current year growth so prune back hard in late spring to encourage a flush of new growth. A nice plant as a standalone shrub or screen trained on a fence, trellis or espaliered against a wall. It is not attractive to browsing animals, but flowers are attractive to bees and other pollinators.
This plant is native of central and southern Chile south into Argentina where it grows as a scrambling shrub or small tree in the temperate biome. The name for the genus comes from the Latin name used by Pliny for a nightshade and the specific epithet means "closely curled". It was likely a chance seedling that arose in the late 19th century at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin (now National Botanic Gardens) in Dublin, Ireland and selected for its vigor, larger and darker colored flowers. It received the prestigious Royal Horticultural Award of Garden Merit (AGM) in 1993.
The information about Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin' displayed on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources we consider reliable. We will also relate those observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments we receive from others and welcome hearing from anyone who has additional information, particularly when they share cultural information that would aid others in growing it.