Chilean flame creeper

Tropae­olum­specio­sum

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Tales Of A Country Vet -

WHAT IS IT?

This sur­pris­ingly del­i­cate-look­ing vine is re­lated to nas­tur­tium and has the same dis­tinct, musty smell, but that’s where the sim­i­lar­i­ties end.

Its flame-red flow­ers ap­pear from Novem­ber to April, in time for the fes­tive sea­son, and it grows rapidly, form­ing a mass of smoth­er­ing leaves. Dis­tinc­tive deep blue-coloured seed pods fol­low the flow­ers.

It oc­curs in small, scat­tered pop­u­la­tions, mainly from the lower Waikato south­wards.

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