Compare & Contrast21st June 2016 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Regular followers will know that I am a fan of Nicotiana mutabilis, but they are not the easiest plants to germinate. I’ve only managed to raise three plants this year, along with another three that made it through the mild winter. As back up, I ordered some plugs of Nicotiana ‘Whisper Mixed’ with flowers that go through similar colour changes from deep rose pink to palest shell pink. Now both are in flower I’m able to compare. My verdict? If you can’t grow mutabilis ‘Whisper Mixed’ is a good alternative, but it doesn’t have the same delicacy or abundance of flowers. The flowers of mutabilis are rounded with six lobes, while ‘Whisper’ is star-shaped with five lobes. Actually, having both in the garden works well, so maybe that’s the answer.