Stictocardia beraviensis Hawaiian Sunset

What a stunning vine! Off and shopping I go. Will update shortly with info about this gorgeous super rare collector vine....

Update. Got seeds! I had to choose between 1 French, 1 German, 2 African and 2 American suppliers, that's it. Ended up buying home based.

This evergreen climber with absolutely gorgeous blooms and lush big leaves is grown all over the Tropics and some subtropical areas. It is related to the Morning Glory with fast growing thick stems and fleshy heart shaped leaves. Cup shaped flowers emerge at the leaf axils in clusters and are 2-3"across, bright crimson with yellow and orange streaking. They are scented and seem to last a day or two. Leaves are large, growing in shade up to 10-12" wide, dark green and velvet, very ornamental even when not in bloom. 

The plant likes lots of water, especially if grown in full sun. As with any blooming plants, the rule is - the more sun, the more flowers. However, this plant can be planted in shade probably with advantage: it will still continue blooming profusely, but the leaves will grow much larger, that will create a gorgeous tropical look. 

If planted in ground, this plant requires significant space due to its fast growing habit. However, it can be easily grown in container as well. You may trim any unwanted twigs which won't hurt the plants appearance and will encourage new blooms in leaf axils. .......
Edit. US Source: Seeds yay!

Photos Credit: Forest & Kim Starr

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The Giant Viper Echium "Tower of Jewels"

Echium wildpretiiEchium pininana

 I've never seen anything like this. Looks like this huge (also called) "Tower of Jewels" grows this size in within 2 years. How gratifying is that? :) I bought seeds for the blue/purple variety (Echium pininana Pride of Tenerife), the color other being red to pink.

This evergreen plant can be found as a garden ornamental but is intolerant of low temperatures. As for most Echium it is favored by bee-keepers for its high nectar and pollen content.
  Wildpretii is an interesting plant that produces a basal dense rosette of narrow hairy silvery leaves during the first year and in the third year produces an erect inflorescence between 3-9 foot tall. The plant blooms from late spring to early summer. The plant dies after fruiting, leaving lots of seeds.

This amazing plant can grow up to 10 feet tall, but 6 feet is more usual. It doesn't grow much in its first year, but concentrates on sending down a very thick tap root. The next year it grows a lot and may bloom under optimal conditions.
 The narrow silvery Grey leaves have a stiff texture. You can expect flowers in year two or three, and these are impressive and worth the wait. The wildpretii flowers from March to May in the lower regions or August in the mountains. From the center of the Tower of Jewels rosette, grows a stately inflorescence with thousands of blue flowers, which forms a thick column, sometimes up to 1 foot thick. 
Suitable for xeriscaping. It is an excellent plant for; seaside garden, shrub borders and containers. Be careful, handling the plant may cause skin irritation.

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Oh Pumpkin Tree, Oh Pumpkin Tree....

Wow, pumpkins on a stick!
A most unusual and rare plant in the Eggplant family. It is usually grown through out mountainous areas of Asia.
This pumpkin is edible but like many eggplants, it has a somewhat bitter taste that is common in some Asian dishes.

Incredible showy ornamental garden plant with pretty purple to white flowers, deep purple stems and branches, and very large, peculiar shaped leaves. A beautiful plant to show off to your neighbors or to try out in a hot, spicy Thai recipe. The hot Thai spices blend well with this type of eggplant.

Synonyms: Solanum integrifolium is sometimes listed as Solanun aethiopicum.
Hardiness Zone: USDA Zones 9-11
Size: 3 ft.
Stem/Bud: Stems are erect and covered with spines and hairs.
Leaves: Leaves are alternate, ovate, 10 in. long, serrated and prickly along top midribs.
Flower: Flowers are purple/white and 3/4 in. wide.
Fruit: Fruit are red or yellow, globose, 1-2 in wide, ribbed.
Uses: Use dried fruit in arrangements or for decorations. Dried fruits resemble small, flatten, globose, orange mini pumpkins.
Culture: Grow in full sun in average, well-drained soil.

Stunning flower bed specimen that dries nicely and the branches with fruits make stunning additions to any flower arrangements.

I bought the seeds here

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