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Stauntonia - Growing Guide
Growing Stauntonia hexaphylla
This is an evergreen climbing shrub which is closely related to, and sometimes confused with, holboellia. It is fast growing and very vigorous achieving up to 30ft in height in maturity.
The reference books indicate that this plant is dioecious but it would seem that some plants do produce both male and female flowers. These are fragrant in a raceme of three to seven flowers. The flowers are white tinged with mauve or violet. Male and female flower clusters look much the same but female clusters will, if fertilised, produce walnut sized sweet and watery purple fruits. In Japan and Korea, where this plant grows in the wild, the fruits are regarded as a delicacy. We have not, so far, been tempted to try in the nursery!
The long stalked leaves consist of three to five leaflets radiating from the centre. The leaflets have a leathery texture and grow closely and densely to completely cover the wall or trellis they are being grown up. Mature plants may have a central trunk 3-4in thick. This plant is one which will happily grow up another tree. We have seen it looking good growing through a myrtle hedge.
It has proved perfectly hardy in the nursery but clearly needs shelter from cold winds and a warm wall to grow on. Pruning is necessary only to keep its long new growth tendrils in order when they begin to run riot.
This is a fairly easy plant to root from pieces of heeled new growth with the end clipped out taken in mid summer and given bottom heat.