There are two major loves in my life: tea and plants. So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this unusual beauty – Jovellana punctata – only to be told that it’s commonly known as the ‘teacup flower’.
This curious plant is a half-hardy perennial that sports white cup-like flowers that with a little imagination look almost hand-painted having spots of purple and a dash of yellow in the throat. This colouration is unique to each flower and acts as an attractant to pollinators, such as bees and hoverflies, much in the same way as can be seen in foxgloves, making it great for wildlife enthusiasts although it adds vibrancy to any space it’s placed in.
Unlike the foxglove, this plant hails from Chile and will need protection in colder months although its leaves are said to be evergreen with a spicy aroma if crushed. I imagine that this would not be the case in the UK climate unless plants are placed under cover or brought indoors. Plants grow to around 5 foot in height, making it perfect for the middle or back of a border and it also makes for a good cutting flower, adding curiosity and a touch of the exotic to displays.