First Flowering: Freycinetia scandens

Freycinetia scandens is an evergreen scrambling vine which I’ve seen growing in coastal rainforest along SE Qld. They need a moist, sheltered, semi-shaded position.

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My plant, grown from a cutting, is now six years old. It first flowered in March and would probably have flowered before now, had I not tip pruned it to keep it bushy.

I first saw the potential for using Freycinetia as a prestige, informal groundcover when I managed Sydney Botanic Gardens. Just inside the Palace Gardens gate is a well established, unlabelled old Freycinetia which has spread by means of its wandering stems and aerial roots.

Freycinetia are easy to root from cuttings taken in summer. Grasshoppers can badly damage plants and attack seems to be worst in autumn. Mine is happily growing in certified organic potting mix and during the warm seasons I give it a small amount of poultry manure and an occasional foliar feed with seaweed. Since they don’t root very deeply, they succeed best in a bowl.

As far as I’m aware, this species is not available commercially.

Jerry Coleby-Williams
24th March 2010