Do you know you can grow love in a garden? Its botanical name, Cardiospermum halicacabum, doesn’t tug at the heartstrings, but the Greek “cardiospermum” translates to heart-seed, an apt label for a plant that produces seed with a perfect white heart embellished on its otherwise dark coat.
More commonly called Love-in-a-Puff, an even more fanciful name, this twining vine is frequently grown for its ornamental three-sided seed pods that follow insignificant white flowers.
Love-in-a-Puff wants rich, well-drained soil and sun, though it will tolerate some shade. In the Upstate it grows to about 10-feet in length, using its tendrils to scamper up structures or other plants. The pods mature from green to brown and pop when squeezed, which makes them a favorite of children.
Their appeal to youngsters explains why these seeds were given to me by Helen Ellis, an angel of a volunteer who provides thousands of hours towards the horticultural enlightenment and education of children (of all ages) at the Heritage Garden at Roper Mountain Science Center each year.
And as we all know, volunteering, especially for the well-being of children, is the very best way to grow love.
For more ways to grow love, visit You Can Grow That!