Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia is rarely found in gardens. It has interesting shinny leaves that develop very early in spring, followed by low-key flowers at a time when few perennials are flowering. It has cream-yellow flowers while the main species, Scopolia carniolica, has chocolate-red flowers. The plant pictured here was a gift from my friend at BotanyCa, a great source for rare seeds.
It is also known as the yellow scopolia, European scopolia and henbane bell. It is a member of the Solanaceae family and also contains alkaloids which are poisonous.
My midsummer the plant starts dying back and goes underground until the following spring. It is reported to spread mostly by rhizome fragmentation but in my garden is has expanded very slowly. It has also not made viable seeds.
Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia
Life Cycle: perennial
Height: 60 cm (24 in)
Bloom Time: spring
Natural Range: Slovenia (Scopolia carniolica from European Alps)
Habitat: damp stony wooded hills, 1000 m
Synonyms: Scopolia hladnikiana
Cultivation of Scopolia carniolica var. brevifolia
Light: part shade
Soil: average to sandy
Water: average to moist
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5 – 9
Propagation: seed, division