When I first got the J.L. Hudson catalog many years ago, it was a bit intimidating. There were no beautiful photos—no photos at all, actually. Just black and white pages full of Latin names. But oh, the plants! Whoever J.L. is, I love his taste in plants. They lean toward the new or unusual, and are rarely the expected.
|J.L. Hudson, Seedsman
PO Box 337
La Honda, CA 94020-0337
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For instance, one of my favorite plants is Solanum quitoense, a tomato relative grown for its big, fuzzy leaves and the vicious, deep purple spikes along its leaf veins. It’s incredibly easy to grow from seed, and it’s a star player in my containers every year. I wondered if there were any similar plants that I should be growing, and a quick trip to the Web site reveals five more solanums with intriguing descriptions.
Even common plants like basil have a few unusual cousins that you can find here. Check out the selection below, taken word for word from the Hudson Web site. It’s a mix of both the standards and a few exotic specimens you won’t find everywhere:
—Basil, Ararat. (b,h) OCIM-1A.
Packet: $2.50, 5 grams: $11.50
An interesting basil with leaves mottled purple and green, with a licorice flavor. Unique.
—Basil, Cinnamon. (1000) OCIM-1C.
—Basil, Large Sweet. (a!,h) OCIM-1S. Packet: $1.50
—Basil, Lime. (a,h) OCIM-1L. Packet: $1.50 ORGANIC SEED
NEW—Ocimum Basilicum Red Rubin.( a!,h) OCIM-1RR.
—Basil, Ocimum gratissimum (=urticifolium) (b,h) OCIM-3.
—Basil, Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum). (a!,h) OCIM-24.
—reviewed by Michelle Gervais
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