I think actually they are here!

Though in fact with this one you have had quite a lot of warning, since it has taken a year to do get this far.

 What began as a spindly seedling last year, survived over winter as this:

Great for structure in winter borders and with the emergent acid green of aconitum foliage as you see it here.

It then transforms itself, sizewise, as do many biennials, within a few months to this 1.5m triffid –  like  inforescence:

Like it or loathe it, the Caper Spurge certainly cannot be ignored.

Come the tail end of the summer, it looks a little lacklustre and faded, but has another drama up its sleeve yet. On warm days the seed heads crack open explosively (and quite noisily actually) and the seeds burst forth to spawn the next army of triffids.

I like it, because periodically there has to be some drama in plants, otherwise gardens can end up being a little too pretty. They can also end up looking contrived. The two year cycle, and its pronounced intention to put itself where it wants, means that like other biennials it softens the edge of what we do as gardeners.

Each year these casual callers change things  just a little and I like that too.


The RHS 4 VOL says and I am not surprised, ‘native location uncertain.’ Great!

Because the thing has spread so far and wide that even the RHS doesn’t know where it began.

Widespread in central and southern Europe, eastern Mediterranean, north west Africa, central and southern America.

 Maybe it did come from outer space after all.

Maybe it has its own agenda!