Both these plants are caudiciform climbers which are grown for their curious form rather than their inconspicuous flowers.
Testudinaria elephantipes is a fairly rampant relative of the yam with an above ground caudex which gets huge if planted in a border or very large tub – unfortunately space restraints mean mine are not potted on regularly enough – something I want to address next year now that I have rearranged the greenhouses.
Fockea edulis is a member of the milkweed family and surprisingly hardy (I keep mine at a minimum of 40/45 degrees Fahrenheit).
I grew both of them from seed in the Eighties and early Nineties although the Testudinaria does seed itself.
Here are a few autumn blooms which I should have posted earlier – better late than never!
The last couple of weeks has seen typical UK weather with drizzle, fog and an occasional frost. The greenhouses still have late summer/autumn blossoms on show as well as the start of the winter flowers.
I took out all the tomatoes, peppers etc. from my lean-to last weekend – it is now officially the end of the summer!
I also unceremoniously cut off the annual climbers – they would have struggled on but it was probably a lost cause. I then rearranged the staging and filled up the top with sundry winter/spring flowering monocotyledons and the bottom with dying off summer flowering plants. A photo below of work in progress.
Let us hope we have a mild winter as I still haven’t insulated some of the greenhouses yet!
I grew this Maurandia from a lucky dip packet of mixed seeds a number of years ago and it continues to seed itself readily. As you can see it can be a bit invasive but doesn’t grow enormous. It is probably quite short lived in cultivation – I have found it so anyway.
The packet came from the UK company Chiltern Seeds who have an unbelievably extensive range of seeds from all over the world. They occupy the position that Thompson and Morgan used to have in the Sixties and Seventies and are well worth a look.
At the start of the year I planned to photograph plants in flower on a weekly basis. This patently never materialised (the same fate happened to many of my other projects!) – I will have another go next year so please bear with me!
Below are a few late flowers in the big greenhouse. These here are all members of the Mesembryanthemum family.