January 2021: Graham Blunt on exotic plants

Graham began his talk by pointing out the impact of leaving the European Union on the movement of plants. He then went on to discuss a range of plants, using the categories of desert, jungle and Mediterranean as classifications.

Plantbase Nursery in East Sussex
Plantbase Nursery in East Sussex
(image credit: Plantbase/Graham Blunt)

His talk was peppered with anecdotes, often drawn from his own experience. One which appealed to many was the Sonchus fructicosus, a plant which he described as a ‘dandelion on steroids’. The seed had apparently stuck to Graham’s trousers when he was travelling and came home to England with him. He had gone on to cultivate it and recommended it as an excellent mid-storey jungle plant, which is significantly hardy.

The talk was full of useful tips, for example, that cannas and ginger plants need to be planted into soil that is warm, it is not just the top of the plant that needs to be in sun.

A number of  members asked questions and expressed an interest in visiting the nursery, which also offers some of its plants by mail order.


Graham Blunt runs Plantbase, a unique nursery in East Sussex specialising in unusual plants.

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