Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sky Blue Cluster Vine

In September 2004 we had planted Jacquemontia pentantha' also known as the Sky Blue Cluster vine in the box below the kitchen window to dress up a drab corner and cover up some ugly piping. Within a year this fast growing vine with its tiny bell- shaped ultramarine blue flowers had grown to reach the lake view gallery above and had gracefully framed the tranquil sky, lake and hill view of this lovely area.

We enjoyed its beautiful appearance and its gorgeous year round flowering for over a year and then the suddenly after the monsoon the plant died out.
I was saddened when the beautiful ultramarine blue flowering Jacquemontia died out. I had not taken into consideration that a perennial tropical climber could die in my tropical paradise. It was something of a shock when this happened. What was once a profusely flowering gorgeous looking area was now plain and bare.

This picture is a reminder of a beautiful climber that once was.

More about Jacquemontia: Originally from tropical America, this profusely flowering tiny blue flowered climber is easy to maintain. The stem of the creeper is slender and green and the leaves are arranged alternatively. The leaves are small, shiny and heart-shaped with pointed tips. The bell-shaped white-throated ultramarine blue flowers are produced in clusters at the ends for long stalks. The creeper looks gorgeous with its many flowers spread on it after rains and in the cooler season.

Jacquemontia pentantha bears flowers in all seasons. The growth is moderate and hence it looks neat. And if the creeper grows out of control, it can be easily and lightly trimmed. Flowers appear on new branches. Jacquemontia pentantha is propagated through seeds, cuttings and by layering. Remove dried stems to enable fresh growth.

It is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Being a hardy plant it does not demand too much attention. It grows in manured soil of any type. The plant needs moderate watering and requires full sun or partial shade. Given proper support, it can be easily grown on fences and balconies.

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