Friday, May 20, 2011

Falling in Love with China Blue

We have a new China Blue Vine, Holboellia coriacea.  A long delayed purchase recommended years ago by veteran nursery folks due to its polite and shade-tolerant, evergreen vining nature.  That, and the promise of lovely, unusual flowers in the 3rd or 4th spring (May) after planting, as well as blueish-purple, sweetly edible fruits in the fall.  Without buds, it could easily be mistaken for an evergreen Clematis variety.  However, if you come face to face with it in your plant searching, and let your eyes dwell on it a moment, you will recognize a delicate (non-aggressive) confidence in its twining, and a calmer demeanor.  I'm a fan of some types of Clematis, and have an 'Early Sensation' that is really enjoyed by all in view of it, but I swear you will detect a difference in China Blue.  

At least one cultivar is locally grown and sold (by Xera Nursery).  Both seem to come and go quickly from the local nurseries.  I've never seen more than a dozen plants in one location before, so if you're entertaining the adoption don't hesitate too long, or you'll be waiting another year for yours.  

So far it has enjoyed our morning sun location, sitting in rich, well-drained soil, and given regular water.  It's predicted to quickly fill our little trellis and provide a nice background for our columnar apple and surrounding daylilies.  It will attach itself to your trellis, no tying required.  And it's hardy to approximately 0 degrees F.  In order to ensure winter hardiness, bury it several inches deep at planting and mulch heavily in the fall.  And of course, let me know how yours does!

Newly Planted

Growing Quickly...

Backing up our Scarlet Sentinel


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