The Chocolate Drop: A Plant That Smells Like Chocolate

Did you know that there is a plant whose flowers have a chocolate scent? This plant of the Asteraceae family is called chocolate flower or chocolate drop. We suggest you discover this pretty perennial with surprising characteristics.

A flower that deserves to be known

The chocolate drop or Berlandiera lyrata is a perennial plant native to North and Central America.

The plant itself is not unusual as it forms a rather compact bush with spindly stems and gray-green leaves.

On the other hand, its summer flowering is remarkable in more ways than one. Its flowers look like small, bright yellow daisies with brown centers.

They will surprise you with their beautiful color and especially with their chocolate scent which earned it the nickname chocolate flower! This plant still little known in France is therefore worth discovering, especially since its culture is without difficulties.

An ideal plant for dry and poor soils

In the wild, chocolate drop grows in dry grasslands. It is a drought resistant but also cold resistant plant as it is hardy to -15°C.

This plant is a semi-hardy perennial. Although its leaves disappear in winter, the Berlandiera lyrata starts again from the stump in spring.

In the garden, it is recommended to grow it in full sun in well-drained soil. This plant fears moisture in winter and thrives in dry soils, including poor or stony ones.

The chocolate flower can therefore be installed in a dry rock garden or a sunny bed. It can also be grown in a pot or window box, provided it is given a sunny exposure and good drainage.

Easy sowing and maintenance

The chocolate drop really has it all: besides the gourmet scent of its flowers, it is easy to plant and maintain.

Berlandiera lyrata seeds are sown in spring. It is possible to sow them directly in place in warm climate regions. Everywhere else, sow them in cups before transplanting them to the garden in May.

If you buy seedlings in cups, install them in May, when all risk of frost is gone, leaving 30 to 35 cm between each plant.

After planting, maintenance is limited to watering regularly so that the plant roots properly.

Once it is established, it does not require any special care. Simply remove wilted flowers as you go along to encourage the appearance of new ones.

An edible plant with a chocolate taste

The botanical name of this plant (Berlandiera lyrata) is a tribute to the French-Mexican naturalist and anthropologist Jean-Louis Berlandier (1803-1851) who studied the flora of Mexico.

But this plant is best known by the vernacular names chocolate flower or chocolate drop, both well-deserved nicknames since its flowers have a cocoa scent!

To bring out this amazing characteristic, simply cut or crumple the stamens that are in the center of the flower. And if you taste them, you will feel like you are eating chocolate...

Never fear, this plant from the Asteraceae family is comestible. It is reported that Native Americans used this flower to relieve stomach aches and brewed its dried roots to calm anxiety disorders.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Kaldari
Tags: plant, Chocolate, flower, scent, winter, leaves, sow, sunny, taste, perennial, family, Asteraceae, spring, edible, transplanting, climate, seeds, gourmet, naturalist, anthropologist, anxiety disorders, stomach aches, Native Americans, Stamens, crumple, cocoa, vernacular names, Mexico, flora, Jean-Louis Berlandier, sowing, Easy, drainage, culture, France, nickname, daisies, summer, compact, Central America, North, Ideal, grasslands, pot, rock garden, moisture, soil, Sun, hardy, COLD,
In French: La goutte de chocolat : une plante qui sent le chocolat
En español: La gota de chocolate: una planta que huele a chocolate
In italiano: La goccia di cioccolato: una pianta che profuma di cioccolato
Auf Deutsch: Der Schokoladentropfen: Eine Pflanze, die nach Schokolade riecht
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