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Plants in our sales nursery – Congea tomentosa, Shower of orchids

June 4, 2010

Although in blossom in December-January, it is time to plant this climber or liana now. It grows rapidly and vigorously, and since it is quite untidy off-season, you should select a place for it where you can admire its fluffy cloud of pink flowers from a distance. A distant tree, or the opposite side of a pond or a mountainside are perfect places. Another option is to let a lower climber or shrub cover its untidy lower branches.

Its vernacular English name, “Shower of orchids” does not mean that this is an orchid, not at all! Select a tall support, preferably a tree which you can sacrifice, as the liana will dominate its crown in no time. Many land owners here have longan (Dimocarpus longan, Sapindaceae), and instead of cutting one down, let it provide support for one of the Lanna forest’s most prominent lianas. A really old specimen may grow woody and stand on its own, like a tree, the original support being killed since long ago. This liana is native to Lanna (northern Thailand), and a typical sight when traveling along mountain roads. As a native, it is very tolerant of droughts, why this plant is the busy gentleman’s choice.

Congea tomentosa is available at our Sales nursery – the Connoisseur’s Club.

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