Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A great family to have around.

Meet the Bignonia family.
It's proper name is: Bignoniaceae

Let me come clean: I am going to describe a family of climbing plants that grow quickly in this climate and don't need much looking after. For a new garden in a Mediterranean climate they are a great choice.

This reddish-orange flower in the two photos above is from one of the Bignonia family of climbing shrubs. Its name is Tecoma (also called Tecomaria) Capensis or Cape Honeysuckle. The flowers are about 7 cms long and the leaves are wavy-edged pinnate with five or seven branches. The flowers tumble together in a cluster. For this way of describing plant leaves I have to thank the Royal Horticultural Society's A-Z of Garden Plants. Left to myself I would say that the leaves consist of smaller leaves (or leaflets) arranged opposite each other in pairs plus one leaflet at the end of the stem. And there are either 5 or 7 leaflets on each leaf.
There are also, by the way, other plants growing over the pergola including a Passion Flower - in one photo you can see its bright, starry shape rising above the rest of the growth. This invader has somehow seeded itself somewhere in the foliage.