Tropaeolum pentaphyllum

Alberto Castillo
Tue, 31 May 2011 18:33:55 PDT
In the wild it grows in moist forests in a subtropical frost free habitat but can stand the occasional -6/-8 C frost. The tubers are brittle and very much look like Dahlia roots. The plant grows in shade and climbs over shrubs and treesto always flower in full sun for hummingbirds to pollinate it. It is dormant in summer and sprouts in autumn, growing through autumn, winter and spring. It flowers in spring. A couple of plants with very attractive yellow flowers have been spotted over the years. If faded flowers are removed the flowering season is very long.

> For very many years now I have had a neglected 6-7" pot, on the paving, close to the south facing wall on the house, with a tuber of this climber. Each year a single growth struggles 8' or so up a thick bare stem of Clematis armandii in the autumn and invariably gets defoliated and wiped out by the spring. The pot is amongst a collection of various things that get rudimentary protection with fleece when I think it necessary. This year with much more snow than usual, temps. down to -14C 30' away in the garden, and many fewer leaves on the Clematis above, the stem has unusually retained its leaves high up and has now been in flower for several weeks, with apparently lots of seed forming.
> I have given it 1 or 2 liquid feeds this very warm and dry spring. Maybe it has died of neglect by starvation and/or drought in the past.
> Brian Whyer, Buckinghamshire, England, zone ~8 ish. 6C in the garden now 12.30am.
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