Monday, January 5, 2009

Trichosanthes subvelutina, Silky Cucumber

Trichosanthes subvelutina 
Silky Cucumber showing flower and foliage stem climbing up a tree.
This handsome native climber deserves to be more widely grown as it is suited to both tropical and temperate gardens. In temperate regions it is tolerant of moderate frosts but is best cut back hard almost to ground level in late autumn as it regrows from a fleshy tuberous root in the spring.This"yam root" was dug and roasted by aboriginal people. The foliage is coarse in texture but the flowers are delicate and feathery in appearance and a real delight to the eye.Growth in summer is rapid but it never becomes rampant and is soft and easy to manage.
2017 update: I no longer have this plant. I bought the original from the Greening Australia Nursery in Brisbane.

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