Bells of Ireland
Moluccella laevis, more commonly known as Bells of Ireland, is one of my favorite annuals in the garden. I bought my first pack of seeds from Burpee last year when I decided green and black flowers were going to be my theme. These bells shaped flowers grow on erect stems that make them great candidates for floral arrangements.
My only complaint with this flower is how soon it blooms, I know that sounds crazy but hear me out. Mine start to bloom at a height of about 3 inches and sometimes I don't even notice them right away. The back of the Burpee seed pack says they reach a height of 2 1/2 feet tall, and I don't know how true that is. I'm not sure how these plants do in container gardens but I think they would make better candidates for a container than in the ground where they may not be appreciated as much.
Last year I managed to kill most of mine and I think it was because I used a foliar feed to do my fertilizing. The first time it I noticed the sudden browning and death of a patch of these plants I thought the culprit must have been something else. It wasn't until the second application of fertilizer that I realized the problem-the patch of Bells of Ireland in the garden that were not being given a foliar feed did fine while the others died. The patch that survived provided me with enough seeds to grow this year and I'm being more careful with applying fertilizers.
Related post: When I collect Bells of Ireland seeds.