Climbers

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Actinidia arguta 'Ananasnaya'

A Russian form developed under Stalin, but virtually unheard of in the UK. This vigorous climber, closely related to Kiwi fruit, bears large crops of fragrant, tangy, pineapple flavoured, grape-like fruit in autumn. With thin smooth skins there is no need to peel them, unlike kiwi fruit. Very hardy and best in a sunny spot in the UK. Needs a mate like 'Issai' for pollination.

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Actinidia arguta 'Issai'

This vigorous deciduous climber, closely related to Kiwi fruit, bears large crops of fragrant, tangy, pineapple flavoured, grape-like fruit in autumn. With thin smooth green skins there is no need to peel them, unlike kiwi fruit. Very hardy and best in a sunny spot in the UK, this form is self pollinating and needs no mate.

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Actinidia arguta 'Ken's Red' (new)

Red-skinned and fleshed fruit on this vigorous deciduous climber, closely related to Kiwi fruit, it bears large crops of fragrant, tangy, pineapple flavoured, grape-like fruit in autumn. With thin smooth red skins there is no need to peel them, unlike kiwi fruit. Very hardy and best in a sunny spot in the UK. This is apparently a hybrid though the RHS treat it as A. arguta.

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Actinidia sp. from China (new)

An unidentified as yet Edward Needham collection from an unknown locality in China. A vigorous climber with foliage emerging splendidly red-brown tinted, turning to green with red-brown tints and with pale silvery-grey markings. There are many Actinidia species in China and this is one of the finer ones for foliage.

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Actinidia tetramera var. maloides (A. pilosula of horticulture)

Actinidia tetramera var. maloides (A. pilosula of horticulture)

A lovely, vigorous climber from China, with narrow, taper pointed leaves tipped with a conspicuous, variably sized pure white blotch, as if dipped in paint. Coral-pink saucer shaped flowers in spring. Climbs by twining stems so needs support. Sun or semi-shade and any reasonable soil. Until now, wrongly known as A. pilosula; a different Chinese species.

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Akebia longeracemosa Clone 1

Akebia longeracemosa Clone 1

A collection from N. Taiwan. This makes a vigorous twining climber with semi-evergreen leaves composed of 5 slim leaflets. The scented blackish-maroon flowers are borne in pendulous racemes to 15cm long in spring. Grow more than one clone for purplish sausage shaped fruits in autumn. A hardy species surviving unscathed here at -14c. Sun or semi-shade.

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Akebia longeracemosa Clone 2

A collection from N. Taiwan. This makes a vigorous twining climber with semi-evergreen leaves composed of 5 slim leaflets. The scented blackish-maroon flowers are borne in pendulous racemes to 15cm long in spring. Grow more than one clone for purplish sausage shaped fruits in autumn. A hardy species surviving unscathed here at -14c. Sun or semi-shade.

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Akebia quinata Cream form

Akebia quinata Cream form

A form of this fast growing, semi-evergreen, twining climber with the sweetly-scented flowers cream with a central maroon zone, quite different from the norm and in my opinion more attractive. Handsome foliage with 5 leaflets and, after a good year, big, dark-purple, sausage shaped fruit in autumn. Good for covering fences, arches or small trees.

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Aristolochia contorta (new)

A 'Dutchman's Pipe or 'Birthwort' from China and the Far East, this makes a climbing perennial to about 1.5m, bearing typically bizarre and fascinating pale yellow flowers in July - August over heart shaped light green foliage. For a sunny position on suitable support. Hardy and easy on any well drained soil.

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Asteranthera ovata

Asteranthera ovata

A very lovely gesneriad from the forests of S. Chile where it climbs tree trunks on the edge of forest clearings. In this country it requires humidity and leafy soil to prosper, so is good on a sheltered north wall or tree. Raspberry-red tubular flowers with wide spreading lobes appear from June and through the summer. 3-4m. Not for the very coldest areas.

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Bomarea acutifolia F&M 130

Bomarea acutifolia F&M 130

From the Sierra Chiconquiaco, Veracruz, Mexico at 1800m. A climbing Alstroemeria relative with terminal clusters of narrow, tubular, bright orange flowers with paler, dark spotted interiors on herbaceous twining stems, reaching 2m + high with suitable support. Very showy scarlet seeds. Best in humus rich soil in sun/semi-shade, mulched over for winter.

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Bomarea caldasii

Bomarea caldasii

A South American, herbaceous twining climber resembling, and closely related to, Alstroemeria, growing 2m + high. Clusters of tubular flowers with flared mouths, borne at the ends of the shoots in late summer, are orange-red on the outside with a yellow interior flecked brown. Mulch over in winter.

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Bomarea multiflora (new)

Seed raised from a plant originally found at 3100m in Ecuador, this is closely related to B. caldasii, though has larger, more crowded heads of orange flowers; the throats a lighter orange with dark speckles. Flowers form at the end of climbing shoots in late summer. A striking and rarely grown climber, best mulched over in winter. Sun.

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Clematis aff. tongluensis

From 2900m in Kachin State, Far NW Burma. A rarely seen Himalayan species of restricted distribution, this relatively small growing species has C. montana-like foliage. Distinctly long stalked white flowers with elegant lanceolate petals and contrasting purple tipped stamen are seen from June to October. Demanding of a cool root run; never too dry.

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Clematis fasciculiflora L657

Clematis fasciculiflora L657

Rare, beautiful and distinct, this evergreen climber from China usually has foliage attractively marked with a silvery blotch and bears it's fragrant, bell shaped, white flowers in late winter/early spring. New shoots appear red-purple with bronze-red foliage and eventually reach about 6m with suitable support. I have used it to cover a sunny 2m wall.

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Clematis orientalis from Kyrgyzstan

Rather different to what you know in cultivation as this species, these have very blue-grey, very narrowly dissected foliage from this area and light yellow flowers. Extremely hardy and as easy as ever in sun or part shade.

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Cobaea pringlei CDR 1323

This really is a superb newish hardy climber from NE Mexico and will one day be widely planted. A very vigorous self-clinging herbaceous climber producing annual stems each year and masses of large cream, bell shaped flowers from August to first frosts. Far more refined than the common, tender C. scandens.

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Dactylicapnos sp. NJM 12.042

From the hill country of Manipur, NE India. Forming herbaceous climbing stems to perhaps 3m each year, attaching themselves with tendrils and bearing clusters of bright yellow dicentra flowers in summer. Should be pretty hardy plant, but mulch over in winter if worried. For sun or semi-shade.

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Holboellia brachyandra (new)

One of the most exciting new climbers in years, this is the largest flowered species in this most attractive genus. Clusters of up to nine white to palest pink exceptionally large scented flowers, up to 2.5cm long on equally long contrasting red-purple stalks, are borne in late spring. Evergreen foliage is trifoliolate, with three leaflets per leaf. Up to 5m high.

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Holboellia coriacea

Handsome and vigorous, this twining evergreen climber from the Himalaya bears compound palmate leaves with up to 7 leaflets with distinct stalks, and deliciously fragrant flowers in March, the males being purplish, the females greenish-white. Best on a warm wall where the sausage shaped, fleshy, purple, edible fruit can form if flowers are hand pollinated.

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