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Ercilla volubilis - Growing Guide

Growing Ercilla volubilis

This unusual evergreen climbing plant originates from Chile. It flowers well as a young plant in pots in the nursery and is still reasonably rare in gardens where it is normally trained up trellis or wires on a wall. The plant does produce its own aerial roots but these seldom seem enough on their own to support the dense mass of foliage which develops with us 6ft or more above ground level.

The plant has ovate, heart shaped leaves which are deep green. It is free branching and will, in theory, grow to around 20ft in height although the author has yet to see this for himself. The flowers appear in March to May in dense spikes of small green or purple flowers. It is the flower heads in such profusion which weigh the plant down and in need of support.

E. volubilis is perfectly hardy and grows equally well in full sun or shade as seen at Garnish Island (Ilnacullin) in Eire. It is an easy plant to layer and grows readily from softwood cuttings.


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