Letter: Rampant plants in the heat

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Sir: I read with great interest Anna Pavord's article in today's Independent (23 August) entitled "Bring on the Olives and Bananas?"

I was delighted to see wonderful hot-weather plants receiving wider attention. However, for those attempting to grow these plants for the first time the information given was a little inaccurate.

Cordyline australis will grow to almost tree height, and leaves approaching 6ft long are not uncommon. Kniphofias flower throughout the summer, and vary greatly in both size and colour. Datura arborea is not hardy. Ricinis communis, while spectacular, is one of the most toxic plants known to man and provided the poison that killed Georgi Markov. Cannas come in all sizes, from Lucifer only 18in high to Wyoming nearly 10ft tall. Musa basjoo, while being the hardiest and a very quick-growing banana, will not grow 10 feet in a single season.

Omitted from the list were such glorious plants as Hedychiums, the fragrant ginger lilies, and the whole family of palms.