Plant of The Month: October

Plant of The Month: October

Our team are always on the look out for new developments in the gardens. Each month, our Assistant Head Gardener, Graham, will be sharing some plants of interest with us.

October 2021: Lapageria rosea

In our Wee Garden is an evergreen twining climber, Lapageria rosea, which has used bottle brush shrubs to support its growth for the past 50 years and is only noticeable in late summer and early autumn when it produces beautiful 10cm long waxy red flowers, similar to lilies, which may last until Christmas.

The national flower of Chile it’s also named the Chilean bell flower and in the UK’s temperate climate is more usually found in conservatories, very rarely growing outdoors. In its natural South American habitat its vines twine in an anticlockwise direction but in the northern hemisphere they grow clockwise, most likely due to the opposite motion of the sun.

Historically the plants roots were collected for use as a sarsaparilla substitute but in 1977 it was given legal protection in Chile where it’s pollinated by hummingbirds.