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A hardy deciduous Himalayan species forming a strong growing climber to about 6m if allowed, though can be kept much smaller with ease. The white to palest pink flowers are borne on drooping stalks from the leaf axils in spring/early summer and, on female plants, are followed by strings of vivid red fruit. Foliage is fairly leathery with conspicuous venation.
Schisandra propinqua subsp. sinensis
A most unusual species from China, this has very slim evergreen foliage sometimes mottled with silver and clusters of small yellow flowers in summer, the females if pollinated followed by red fruit. Makes a climber to 6m if allowed.
A twining Himalayan deciduous climber with rather lovely, pendulous crimson flowers in late spring, followed on female plants by long dangling strings of bright red berries. Totally hardy, this is suitable for wall, fence or over garden shed etc.
Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Rose Sensation'
A refined French selection with the floral bracts more uniformly pink than 'Roseum'. Pink teardrop shaped bracts surround the creamy white, flattened, lacecap heads of flower, seen covering the plant in July. Will easily grow in shade on any suitable support, but flowers better on a sunny wall, where it could eventually reach 12m if you let it. Slow to start.
A truly aristocratic beauty with fine, slender pointed foliage. This species is larger in all it's parts than S. hydrangeoides, with creamy-white lacecap flowers reaching up to 30cm across, and with the surrounding teardrop bracts up to 9cm long. Can be grown in sun or shade, but will flower best in sun, where it can reach 12m or more. Very nice.
Schizophragma integrifolium BWJ 8150
Previously circulated as S. aff. megalocarpum and S. corylifolium, this is in fact the wonderful S. integrifolium and makes a noble large climber up to 10m tall, with huge flat lacecaps of white flower in summer, surrounded by persistent teardrop shaped bracts up to 6cm long. Best with its head in sun and roots in cool, moist leafy soil.
A Holboellia relative from China, though deciduous, with foliage composed of three leaflets, glaucous beneath. Forming a vigorous, hardy, twining climber for any reasonable support and mainly grown for the large drooping elongated clusters of lavender-purple, grape-like fruits in autumn as the leaves turn pale-yellow. You'll need both female and male plants for fruit.
A rare but long cultivated evergreen climber for a sheltered sunny wall where it will make a dense tangle of thorny, narrow, zigzag stems, covered in interesting and attractive heart shaped, grey blotched foliage. Pale green fragrant flowers are produced in racemes during late summer and are often followed by red fruit. Not for very cold areas.
Bluebell Creeper. Loveliest of lovelies, sells on sight, but alas not the hardiest, hailing, as it does, from SW Australia. With mild winters, many are getting away with it I'm told. A conservatory suits it admirably however, where it will produce a succession of beautiful little sky-blue, bell-shaped flowers throughout summer and autumn. Not too rampant, up to 2m or more.
Stauntonia purpurea (new)
A strong growing evergreen climber from the mountains of Taiwan, with foliage composed of up to 5 leaflets and clusters of richly coloured, deep-purple flowers, shaped like pixie's caps, borne in late spring. Elongated, purple, deliciously edible fruit follow in autumn. The foliage and flowers of this species are daintier than some other species. For a sheltered site.
Stauntonia sp. NJM 09.198
My collection from nearly 2000m on Tay Con Linh mountain, Ha Giang Province, N. Vietnam. An evergreen climber with compound palmate foliage. Seed was procured from rotting fruit found on the forest floor of this very seldom visited mountain, so this could be something very interesting. Try this on a sheltered wall, not too cold.
Stauntonia sp. NJM 10.133
Found near Fan Si Pan mountain, N. Vietnam at just over 2000m asl, very near the Chinese border, this formed an evergreen climber with compound palmate foliage with up to 8 leaflets. The yellow fruit with deliciously sweet flesh were up to 10cm long. Try this on a sheltered wall, not too cold.
Stauntonia sp. NJM 10.153
Found in woodland near Ban Khoang, N. Vietnam, 1771m asl, this handsome evergreen climber bore leaves to 20cm across with five leaflets, the veins deeply impressed. The sweet fleshed fruit were up to about 12cm long. Flowers not yet seen so identification impossible so far. I could throw an unlikely name at it to sell it, like some others, but shan't.
Stauntonia yaoshanensis HWJ 1024
Originally collected as Holboellia grandiflora, this evergreen twining climber was found in N. Vietnam at 1900m alt. Compound foliage with 3 to 7 dark green leathery leaflets is a backdrop for clusters of pale-yellow tinged 2cm long scented flowers. This would be best tried in a sheltered, not too cold position. It's done very well in N Wales and the Pacific North West.
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