A Costa Rican native, this robust, spectacular climber is a highlight of the garden at Heronswood, draped over the historic house bluestone walls. The saucer shaped mid purple, aging to white, flowers with prominent yellow stamens are produced in abundance from Dec to May, extending the display from summer through autumn. Its fast growth ensures a dense green cover in warmer climates in a single season, and in cooler areas, allows light to penetrate in winter when the glossy green leaves fall. Also known as the giant potato vine, Solanum wendlandii produces hooked barbs on stems and foliage to help its spread, and inedible fruits that are rare on cultivated plants.
Plant in full sun or light shade. Protect from frost. May produce inedible berries - do not eat. Loves heat and humidity and thrives in sub-tropical and tropical areas, plant beside a north-facing wall in southern gardens. Water regularly and fertilise twice a year to ensure continuous flowering.