Four Exotic Climbers for February
Mexican flame vine
A fast growing unusual climber with soft lime green leaves which can reach 6m in a season. The dramatic fragrant daisy like flowers is a dazzling orange which mature to a brick red. They attract butterflies and bees and will provide a splash of intense colour throughout summer. It can be propagated from seed or cuttings. Plant over a trellis, up an obelisk or cascading from a very large hanging basket.
Growing conditions: Evergreen, but frost tender, and should be planted in full sun. It likes moist growing conditions and may die down in very cold conditions but should sprout again in spring. It can be propagated from seed or cuttings.
Passiflora "Lavender Lady"
An exotic evergreen tendril climber. It has slender stems and deeply lobed rich green leaves about 6cm long. Has bowl shaped purple to purple blue flowers about 7,5cm with green anthers and tepals that reflex as the flower fades. Bears orange seed pods. Flowers mostly in summer and autumn but in my garden seems to have flowers all year. It is ideal to cover a wall or trellis, train over a pergola or arch or to grow into a tree.
Growing conditions: Amethyst grows in full sun, Is evergreen and semi hardy.
(Featured in February 2007 issue of The Gardener)
Here's an interesting variation on the trusty black eyed Susan - and it flowers right through winter too. The Thunbergia alata 'Blushing Susie' is a hybrid that bears dark pink flowers with the distinctive black throat, but as the flowers age they turn a dusky apricot pink and finally ivory. The creeper itself is more containable than the indigenous Thunbergia but it still twines vigorously so it's best trained around and up an obelisk, trailing out of a hanging basket, woven along a fence or over an archway. 'Blushing Susie' flowers prolifically throughout the year and will self seed.
Growing conditions: Frost hardy, even to the point of surviving black frost; full or partial sun, drought tolerant.
Abutilon megapotamica is the "climber" of the abutilon family. It is a fast growing evergreen shrub with arching shoots and can be used in a large hanging basket, grown up against a wall as a cascading screening plant or I have grown it very successfully on an obelisk. The pendant bell shaped flowers are about 4cm long and have yellow petals and purple stamens which grow out of the prominent yellow calyces. Jenny Ferreira describes them as "small red lanterns from which yellow petticoats emerge"!
Growing conditions: They grow in full sun or semi shade, are evergreen, are semi hardy and make a statement in any garden. They do not like to be containerised.
Size: 2m (Featured in February 2007 issue of The Gardener)
|Leone Williams||012 342 5762|
|082 482 0257||012 342 5762|