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  • Dioscorea
    • alata   CAG03164

      (Purple yam)
      Height3m
      Width3m
      Flowering SeasonSu - Au
      WaterM - H
      LightShade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      This tropical Asian root vegetable actually makes a very attractive foliage plant for a pot, even indoors I expect though I've yet to try it. Its twining tendrils clothing themselves in dark glossy green, squarely heart shaped leaves to sumptuously flow over the side of a pot or hanging basket, cover a fence or screen, or dress up a scraggly shrub or bare stemmed bamboo. Come winter the whole lot dies off so you you never have to worry about it taking over and leaving you free to dig up the tasty subterranean, purple fleshed tubers without affecting growth.

      Ideally it would be kept drier during it's winter dormancy but it does fine in the nursery without any protection from rain in well drained soil. I wouldn't waste my time planting it in the ground as our (Perth) soil temperature is too low for most of the year to satisfy many tropical geophytes, pots heat up quicker giving a longer growing season and better yields.

  • Pereskia
    • aculeata ‘Godseffiana’   CAG03085

      (Barbados gooseberry, Leaf cactus)
      Height5m
      Width5m
      Flowering SeasonSummer
      WaterM
      LightFilt.Shade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      A remarkably exotic climber from the tropical Americas with peach toned, broadly lance shaped, fleshy leaves clothing scrambling stems adorned with short spines in bunches. The clusters of many petalled, pallid cream, cup shaped flowers with prominent orange bosses are followed by edible orange fruit.
      While in cooler areas (Perth) the flower and fruit may be unreliable it has foliage to die for and makes a fabulous pot subject even for the non-lovers of Cacti (which it is but one of the few with leaves).

      Easily grown in any well drained soil, reputedly indestructible in the tropics, here it will burn in too much sun. Water freely during summer growth and sparingly or not at all while deciduous in winter.

  • Salvia

    (Sage)
    Lamiaceae

    A genus whose popularity has risen exponentially in recent times. Offering a diverse range of form and colour there is a Salvia for nearly every garden situation with more and more being discovered and described all the time. The count now stands somewhere in excess of 1000, including subspecies, according to The Plant List. They are found on every continent except Antarctica.

    From a gardeners perspective they can not all be treated the same, they come from many different climates after all, but as a rule of thumb can be grouped into winter rainfall and summer rainfall species and with few exceptions they all prefer well drained soil.

    Soft leaved species from Central and South America are usually autumn and winter flowering. Coming from summer rainfall areas they typically need protection from dry heat and the accompanying high light intensity and they vary in their tolerance of winter damp. As with most plants the larger the leaves the more water they require, this also dictates how fast they grow with many growing several metres in a single season.

    Species from south western North America, South Africa, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are all winter growers and are tolerant or demanding of dry heat and summer drought. Slower growing but usually longer lived these all tend to have small, densely haired, silver or grey leaves or a combination of these traits which help them conserve moisture. Most of these require no additional water in Perth and are well adapted to our climate. They tend tend to flower from spring into summer.


    Prune back to where vigorous new basal growth is seen, never to dead wood, they appear to store little food in their stems and without leaves stand a chance of starving to death or at least struggle to regenerate. The exception is those few that are tuberous or clump forming, these can be cut to ground level once the stems start dying back in late autumn.
    • chiapensis   CAG01003
      Height60cm
      Width1m
      Flowering SeasonAll
      WaterM
      LightLight Shade
      for $7.00earn 35 points

      An evergreen, shrubby perennial from Mexico. Many flowered, long, slender, arching wands of small, bright magenta pink, tubular, lipped flowers are held over glossy, green, oval shaped leaves.
      Extremely floriferous and with good ornamental foliage, this is magnificent plant for any protected position with some shade, where it will lend a lush tropical look.
      It's somewhat lax habit makes it ideal for the foot of larger plants or the top of retaining walls.

  • Canna
  • Miscanthus
  • Xanthosoma

    (Yautias)
    Araceae

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