Wicked Plants: The Seed Collection



Update:  Head over to the Algonquin Books Blog for another chance to win some seeds!

As some of you know, I planted a poison garden while I was working on Wicked Plants.  I'd never grown, much less seen, some of the plants in the book, and it's just too weird to write about plants you don't know. So I managed to come up with about 35 species that I could actually grow in my climate, in a small secluded garden, without inflicting too much harm on anyone (poison oak, for instance, was not invited.)

And you know what?  Some of those plants were very pretty.  Castor bean!  Datura!  Opium poppy!  Foxglove!  Tobacco!  Lovely, really.  Not suitable as an entree, but lovely nonetheless.

So imagine my excitement when Botanical Interests offered to put those very plants together in a Wicked Plants seed collection. The impetus for this is the upcoming Wicked Plants exhibit at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers–more about that in the coming months–this gives them a little something extra to sell in the gift shop and support their fine work.

(Botanical Interests, by the way, does a lot to support the fine work of botanical gardens. Have you seen their Botanic Garden Series in partnership with Denver Botanic Gardens?)



Seed collection


So.  Here, just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping:  the Wicked Plants Seed Collection.  Here's what you get:  Datura meteloides, foxglove 'Gloxiniiflora' blend, Nicotiana sylvestris, two poppies (Double Peony and Hungarian Blue), and a castor bean 'Impala'.

Seed collection2

And yes, we've got a collection to give away.  You know what to do. Comment to win; extra credit for limericks involving poisonous plants,poison gardens, or other horticultural mishaps.

Oh, and let me just add–I'm not making money off this; I was just happy to see it happen so that the Conservatory would have a revenue-generator for their gift shop next year. If Botanical Interests does well with it, all the better.  And if you happen to know a shop that would like to carry the collection, have them contact Botanical Interests and make it so.


  1. That’s very cool! It is odd to write about plants you don’t know but you did, even the most obscure species, good service! I find myself giving multiple copies of the book as gifts for the second year in a row!

  2. Castor Bean,poppy, foxglove
    there is danger in all the above,
    though their blossoms are sweet
    they can stop your heart beat
    and you’re spirit will be carried off by a dove.

  3. Amy, I think I had better read your book again. I didn’t realize I grew so many wicked plants!

    I worry about my dog, he still chews things out in the garden.


  4. There once was a Wiccan named Cat,
    Who craved ‘Wicked Plants’ just like dat.
    When she heard of the seeds
    She just about peed!
    That funky, cool Wiccan named Cat!

  5. Genius idea Amy! What a package. I wish you made a little something though…you deserve it.

    Great idea for garden authors in general as new sources of revenue should be tapped. It’s not an easy full time gig.

    You chose a great organization to benefit from your idea in any case.

  6. This collection of seeds is superb
    For flowers and bees and birds.
    When planting, beware
    you must handle with care;
    Add a sign that says “Do Not Disturb”.

  7. There once was a double Datura
    who’s flowers were purple to lure ya.
    But don’t eat it, bro.
    You’ll get high, I know.
    You don’t want to die, now do ya?

  8. Tobacco is nice. I’m not jokin’!
    His leaves look so beautiful growin’.
    He’s chalked up some losses,
    from the cancer he causes.
    It’s not his fault you decided to smoke him.

  9. love the idea of “wicked plants”…are they just as wicked as everything else in Maine…or from LLBean??? lol

  10. I LOVE growing Datura but never tried any of the others in your seed collection. Pick ME so I can try them all!

    And it’s too cold here in Detroit to limerick!

  11. Looking forward to your SF appearance – please find some time to visit your fans at the SF Botanical Garden/Strybing Arboretum, just down the road from the Conservatory of Flowers.

  12. Monkshood is one of my mother’s favorite plants; she has the late and earlier blooming varieties. One year, the deer ate it down. That same fall, I found 3 dead deer in the field behind the house. Coincidence?

    Still hoping that the chipmunks will be stupid enough to eat the daffodils.

  13. OMG you have no idea how long I’ve been looking for the caster bean seeds…. i had one a few years ago.. My BFF doesn’t believe me that they really exist… WHOOO HOO.. I’m ordering mine right now…

  14. I can’t think of any clever limericks, but I would like to win these! I love Botanical Interests’ beautiful package art, and that combined with the Wicked Plants design means that it’s going on display if I win! 🙂

  15. Great idea. I love Nicotina and use lots of Botanical Interest seeds. Love the packaging and helpful info. Thanks for the chance to win.

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