Cobaea scandens, a slow start, perennial climber

When I lecture on annuals, Cobaea scandens there is always an element from. It is a plant, both in the garden and during lectures often admired. Cobaea scandens is a climber from Central America. Of the total 18 to 20 species, only Cobaea scandens the garden to plant in the Netherlands charged. For years, this tropical climber, which is only one chance in our summers in the garden can be given a marginal existence in the garden had. He was completely unknown and unfortunately only in botanical gardens. Around the mid-eighties of the
“Cobaea scandens’
Slow start
last century there was an upsurge in the field and plants annuals lift on that success. Seed Merchants in search of new species and then you see Cobaea with some regularity in Gardens of plant lovers. For them it is as very interesting, but a gardener who takes a special talent, this plant can often find no place.

Late bloomer
This vine is known for its very slow start. It is advisable to Cobaea for mid May outside. Around late April, the seeds collected in a jar and be sown after mid-May, the plants than in the vicinity of a mesh, pergola or a tree planted. After a few weeks then begins the real growth and mid-August, the vines a height of 5.3 m achieved. Only then will the plant bloom. So it is indeed a late bloomer.
The flowers are the first day of pale green and difficult to notice, but then they fade to purple. They have the format of a large wine glass and more or less that form. In the wild these flowers are pollinated by bats, in our country is the task taken over by moths. It is in our cultivated plants or seeds also formed. In favorable summer after flowering, many will develop and seed pods it can be used for new plants to grow.

Cobaea scandens is a climber by means of wires to foliage, branches and other climbing aids retention and thus can climb to great heights. If a fence of boards, as we see so many in the Netherlands, some wires must be brought where the vines are inescapable winds. [Wiert Nieuman, hortulanus Botanical Gardens of Utrecht]

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