Z is for Zinnia

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Zinnias were a part of my mother’s rock garden, one she carefully designed on the side of a slope that ended at our driveway.  Their color is riotous – yellow, red, white, chartreuse, purple, lilac – although I only seem to remember orange.  On a warm day, they had a very characteristic fragrance.

Zinnias are bug-resistant, but unfortunately, deer love to eat them, so I haven’t been able to plant any here in NC.  Our deer eat practically any flower that isn’t walled off.  Butterflies love zinnias, and more’s the pity I can’t plant them, because we have swarms of butterflies on our azaleas in the spring and watching them is a real pleasure.

Zinnias are native to scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the Southwestern United States to South America, and are particularly diverse in Mexico. I read they were named for a German botanist, Johann Zinn and are a member of the aster family.

I understand that zinnias are also edible, although the taste is bitter, and they make great cake decorations.

Does anyone have a riot of zinnias in their garden?

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2 thoughts on “Z is for Zinnia

  1. I don’t have zinnias in my garden (which is really just a backyard:)), but this was quite interesting. Had no idea they taste bitter, but make great cake decorations. Great post, Noelle.

    And woo-hoo … we made it. I look forward to reading your blogs going forward. Congrats to us! 🙂

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