The popular Burning Bush is Kochia, angrown for its foliage which turns red in the autumn. Dictamnus, however, is the true Burning Bush – strike a match close to the flower-heads once the blooms have faded and on a warm still day the volatile oils will ignite. A blue flame will surround the upper part of the bush but the plant will not be damaged. It is more than a novelty to amuse the children – Dictamnus produces fragrant spidery above deeply-cut, lemon-scented in midsummer. It will take a couple of years to become established but after that the plant is reliable and long-lived.
VARIETIES: The basic details of D. albus (D. fraxinella) are height 2 ft. Spacing 1V6 ft.
Flowering period: June-August. The tall spikes bear white or pale purplewhich measure 1.5 in. in diameter. For even larger flowers grow the variety caucasicus and the brightest blooms are borne by ‘Purpureus’, a pink-flowered variety with red stripes.
SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained soil which is not acid will do – thrives in sun or light shade.
PROPAGATION: Do not divide the clumps. Buy a-grown plant or under glass in spring if you are willing to wait 3 years for the plants to reach flowering size.