Oriental Henbane Plant
I grew these Oriental henbane plants from seed myself. Their Latin name is Physochlaina orientalis, and they are close relatives of the European henbane most of us are familiar with and contain the same alkaloids (in unknown amounts). They make beautiful violet flowers instead of yellow or white ones of European henbane, and its cauldrons of seeds point down instead of up. A native of southern Russia, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Iran, this perennial likes rock places and open forests in the wild. It flowers in spring (bees love it) and goes dormant in summer after it forms seeds, so it's good to grow in areas planted with spring bulbs. It grows from rhizomes, a kind of root that travels just below the soil, which means it will gradually expand with new plants each year if it's grown outside. It gets about 12"/50cm tall and benefits from fertilizer intended for tomato plants.
Inside you can grow them under common fluorescent lights kept an inch or so from the tops of the leaves. Higher-powered lights should be kept farther back to protect from leaf burn. I water with a liquid kelp solution diluted to the bottle directions if they are inside, and if they are outside, I use liquid kelp in a sprayer and water the undersides of the leaves before ten am once a week. Too much fertilizer will make leaves susceptible to insects. It might still go dormant in summer, like a mandrake.
They like to grow in temperate areas (zones 6-9), although some people grow this outside as far north as Calgary. Prefers a slightly chalky soil. If growing outside in the ground, choose to plant near a cement or rock wall. If growing inside in a pot, add crushed granite (chick-grit) as a top dressing..
In case of attack by bugs, try spinosad spray, which you can buy in concentrate form and dilute and then spray the underside of the leaves in the evening, so as to avoid harming bees. But bees don't normally visit belladonna anyway.
Can only be shipped to the Continental US.