Azorina vidalii

Azorina vidalii is an evergreen shrub that grows on the volcanic cliffs and scree of the Azores.  It also grows in a pot in Cliffe Garden (summer residence) and Cliffe greenhouse (winter abode) and has done so for several years.  It was purchased from a trestle table strewn with an eclectic assortment (the best type) of plants outside an Ilfracombe butcher’s shop and has, although not exactly thrived, held on to life ever since.  This in itself is a miracle as it is allegedly tender below 5C, and believe me we have all suffered temperatures far below this over the last few years.  It is in the family Campanulaceae, in fact it is sometimes known as Campanula vidalii, and the flowers are the typical bells of this family and can be in either pink or white.  Although I have not tested this theory, the flowers are apparently white if the plant is grown in the greenhouse and pink if raised in the great outdoors.  Well as you can see these flowers are pink, tinged with white, perhaps an allusion to its winter retreat.  The sweet leaves can be eaten raw in salad but are not produced in great numbers so should be treated as a delicacy.  In our case I think it should be last resort snacking, along with all the sun, it needs all the leaves it can get.

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