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My Halloween Garden

Updated on October 26, 2014
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Yvonne writes about and photographs the flora and fauna of Louisiana, sharing knowledge she learned through study and personal experience.

Odd Plants for Halloween

October in Louisiana is usually mild, with maybe a touch of cool fall-like weather, so many flowers are still blooming for Halloween.

The ones I have chosen for my Halloween garden are ones that this garden witch actually grows or has grown. Not all of them bloom or bear fruit in October, but they all have Halloween sounding names like "Bat Face Cuphea", "Devil's Walking Stick" and "Candy Corn Vine" or creepy looking growth habits. Many have flowers that attract hummingbirds and/or fruit for song birds and other animals.

I've included a brief description of each, with a picture, and where they can be purchased if possible. Some are native plants and others are hard to find. We hope you enjoy your virtual visit to our Halloween garden.

Voodoo Lily Picture: GNU Free Documentation License.

Oregon Passion Flower Print

Source

Buy Oregon "passion flower" #10 by dlmtleArt on Zazzle

There are many native and non-native plants with unusual or weird names. I've gathered a few here, that we have grown in our gardens in Louisiana. Some of the ones we have chosen, like the Voodoo Lily, actually look very strange, too.

Unusual Native Plants

Devil's Walking Stick - Aralia spinosa

Bark of Devil's Walking Stick
Bark of Devil's Walking Stick

Devil's Walking Stick gets its common name from the thorn like bark that covers its trunk. It is a small tree that is covered with large clusters of white flowers in spring which are used by a variety of pollinators. In the Fall, Blackberries, that are devoured by many fruit eating song birds, follow.

Source

Devil's walking stick and other native plant photos are copyright Y.L. Bordelon, unless otherwise noted.

Green Dragon - Arisaema dracontium

Green Dragon, Arisaema dracontium
Green Dragon, Arisaema dracontium

Green Dragon is a relative of Jack in the Pulpit, another more attractive native. This plant looks like it belongs in a Halloween garden. It is a perennial which grows from a corm like root in partial shade.

Jack in the Pulpit Seeds

Green Dragon's relative is much easier to find and is a more attractive plant for the shade garden. It would also fit right into a Halloween garden.

Rattlesnake Fern - Botrychium virginianum

Rattlesnake Fern
Rattlesnake Fern

Rattlesnake Fern is a small, uncommon fern that grows along the openings in forests in Louisiana. The spore casings look like the rattle of a rattlesnake.

Native Ferns of Eastern North America

Rough Skullcap - Scutellaria integrifolia

Skullcap Seed Pods
Skullcap Seed Pods

Skullcap is a beautiful native perennial. There are several varieties, but S. integrifolia is the only one native to Louisiana. Skullcap gets its name from the shape of the seed pods, which look like the skullcaps that the friars wear.

Rough Skullcap Print

Source

Hoary Skullcap Seeds

This is another of the native Skullcaps.

Water Spider Orchid - Orchid Habenaria repens

Water Spider Orchid
Water Spider Orchid

Water Spider Orchid is an unusual native orchid that grows along the edges of ponds and in the mucky soil of wetland areas. The blooms look like hundreds of small spiders, so you can see why I included it in my Halloween garden.

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis virginiana

Source

Buy Witch Hazel Postcard by naturegirl7 on Zazzle.com

Witch Hazel is a native medicinal tree which was named 'Hazel' because the European colonists thought it resembled European Hazel. The witch name is because of its method of seed dispersal. After the flowers bloom in fall and winter, the seed pods ripen until spring, when they will suddenly explode like magic, sending the seeds off in many directions.

Witch Hazel Seeds

Source

Weird or Strange Non-Native Plants

Bat Face Cuphea - Cuphea llavea

Bat Face Cuphea
Bat Face Cuphea

Bat Face Cuphea Photo is Public Domain.

Bat Face Cuphea and most of the other Cuphea flowers are favored by hummingbirds. The flower of Cuphea llavea looks like the face of a tiny bat. These plants like dry, sunny spots and do well in pots. They are not cold hardy.

Black Dragon Coleus

Black Dragon Coleus
Black Dragon Coleus

Black Dragon Coleus photo courtesy of Amazon.com.

Black Dragon Coleus is one of the many colors of Coleus. Coleus are annuals that are prized for their colorful leaves. They are easy to propagate from cuttings or seeds.

Black Dragon Coleus Seeds

Candy Corn Vine - Manettia inflata or Manettia luteorubra

Candy Corn Vine
Candy Corn Vine

Candy Corn Vine photo GNU Free Documentation

The flowers of the Candy Corn Vine look like little pieces of the Halloween candy. Hummingbirds swarm over them. Manettia inflata and M. luteorubra are hard to grow in Louisiana. They like cooler, less humid air. I have better luck with its cousin, Manettia cordifolia which comes back every year.

Devil's Pincushion or Annual Lion's Ear - Leonotis nepetifolia or Leonotis nepetaefolia

Source

Buy Annual Lion's Ear by lalagniappe on Zazzle.com

You can see by the picture why it is called Devil's Pin cushion. The flower heads are covered with orange tubular flowers and the seed pods have sharp points. This great hummingbird plant certainly deserves a place in the Halloween Garden.

These plants usually come back from seed each year. But to be sure, we collect some of the seed heads when they turn brown by clipping them with clippers into a large margarine container. Then we put the lid on and shake. Remove the sticky seed heads and the small seeds will be in the bottom. Let them dry out for a week or so so they won't mold. Put them in a paper envelope and store in a cool, dry place.

Leonotis Leonerus

This is the perennial Lion's Ear. Both this and the annual are good hummingbird plants.

'Flying Dragon' Trifoliate Orange - Poncirus trifoliata

Trifoliate Orange by Y.L. Bordelon
Trifoliate Orange by Y.L. Bordelon

Flying Dragon is a cultivar of the citrus tree, Trifoliate Orange. This hardy tree is commonly used as rootstock for more hard to grow citrus trees. Flying Dragon has winding branches with many thorns. In some areas of the south, Trifoliate Orange has escaped cultivation and can be found growing in the wild. The fruit has many seeds, but can be used to make lemonade.

Growing Citrus Essential Gardener's Guide

"Lucifer' Crocosmia

Source

Buy Crocosmia Flowers print by lalagniappe on Zazzle

Crocosmia are an easy to grow bulb like perennials that will multiply and last for years. Some report that the red-orange flowers are used by hummingbirds. I have seen butterflies drink from the flowers.

Moonflower - Ipomoea alba

Source

Buy Moonflowers Print by naturegirl7 on Zazzle

The lovely white flowers of this member of the morning glory family bloom from dusk until early morning. Moths use these delicately scented beauties and an occasional bat will stop by for an insect meal, so they are perfect for both a moon garden and a Halloween garden.

The seed pods are a little creepy and odd looking. If you let them turn brown before you harvest them, then let them dry more in a paper bag in the house, you can save the white seeds to plant next year.

Moonflower Seed Pods

Source

Seed Pod photo by Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved

Voodoo Lily - Sauromatum venosum

Voodoo Lilies
Voodoo Lilies

Voodoo Lilies photo GNU Free Documentation

We got our first Voodoo Lily many years ago from the Marie Laveau Voodoo Shop in the French Quarter. The eerie looking bulb sprouted and bloomed while it was sitting on the windowsill, unplanted. We planted it in a pot and it grew and multiplied for many years with little care. Sadly, the colder winters that we have in our new home have done it in. I simply must get another one soon. Did you know that flies are attracted to Voodoo lilies? A Halloween garden should not be without a Voodoo Lily.

Do you have any plants to add to this witch's Halloween garden? - Please let us know you stopped by.

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This is a lovely and interesting lens. The design is fantastic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi naturegirl7,

      I really liked your lense. I voted for the Voodoo Lily, it is so freaky looking, pretty cool. It looks like it is a spreader. Fun article! :)

      N T T

    • lemonsqueezy lm profile image

      lemonsqueezy lm 6 years ago

      Ok. I voted for Rattlesnake Fern. It get goosebumps by just looking at it. However, the candy corn vine is just divine. *blessed*

    • profile image

      Geeve 6 years ago

      Another great lens for our neighbourhood. I am delighted to leave a blessing :)

    • needatitleokc profile image

      needatitleokc 6 years ago

      you have really enlightened me in the plant kingdom i love plants great pictures

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Wonderful lens - so many interesting plants and beautiful photos. Lensrolled to my spooky halloween garden creatures lens.

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 6 years ago

      Great stuff! I have lensrolled you on my Scary Plants lens :) Happy Halloween!

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 6 years ago

      I never knew the Mexican heather I planted in my window boxes was also called "Bat Face"! How ironic that I was attracted to it and never knew. Thanks for making this lens!

    • naturegirl7s profile image
      Author

      Yvonne L. B. 6 years ago from Covington, LA

      @Virginia Allain: You are so right and I almost put that one, but I decided to start with ones that we had grown and/or that we had taken pictures of. I haven't found Indian pipes on our property, yet. Loved your lens, BTW.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a great range of plants you've found for a Halloween theme. The Indian pipes, a wild plant, is also called the ghost plant and corpse plant. Might be a good addition to this. I have a lens on it called Indian Pipes.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a great Halloween garden! I want the candy corn vine and the moon flowers. That voodoo lily is really weird though!

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      That Voodoo Lily is awesome!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      I'm a huge fan of unusual plants too!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      That candy corn vine is so cool!

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      Beautiful! Just beautiful! I do love the moonflower, tho around here we call it moonvine. My favorite flower of all, I think!

    • Wendy Leanne profile image

      Wendy Leanne 6 years ago from Texas

      I love this lens. I think this is one of your best lenses to date. Great work.