Sunn Hemp … not for smoking :)

Sunn Hemp blooms

Sunn Hemp blooms

Ever heard of this Hemp?  It’s a beauty!

A native plant of India, grown for its fibre and as fodder, as early as 400BC and mentioned in early Sanskrit as “Sana”. It was brought to Europe in the 18th century by the East India Co. and henceforth spread globally ~ though still unknown to most gardeners.

It is fast growing and the flowers attract lots of bees. It also adds color to an otherwise “sun-baked” Florida garden. I grow it primarily to get rid of Nematodes in the soil (yeah, I get my 1st garden & then I find out Florida soil is chock-full of Nematodes, something I’ve never heard of … go figure!).  Their roots actually make those darn nematodes infertile so no procreation.

Green Sunn Hemp Leaves

Green Sunn Hemp Leaves

Then I find out it makes excellent green manure… so painfully I have to “chop & drop” those beautiful plants to feed the soil.

Some I let them grow as tall as they can get for seed harvest, some I grow next to the wall to act as sun-block, which is  much needed especially in summer.

Flowering Sunn Hemp by the patio

Flowering Sunn Hemp by the patio



I’ve put some right by our outdoor ‘picnic area’ on the east side and with the evening shade, sitting outdoors and looking at some nice tall greens with striking yellow blooms it helps to make my cold summer beer a lot more enjoyable.

One of the best write-ups that got me interested in Sunn Hemp is a research paper done by India’s Central Research Institute for Jute & Allied Fibres.


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