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A large genus of several hundred species of climbing (with tendrils) plants nearly all from the New World, and most bearing fascinating flowers which must be amongst the most wonderful and beautiful to be found in the floral kingdom. Although recounted in most references to the genus, the story behind the name is still worth repeating here. The early Spanish missionaries in South America saw in the flower the instruments of Christ's Passion - the central column (gynandrophore) represented the scourging post, the three stigmas the three nails, the five stamens the five wounds, the corona filaments the crown of thorns, the calyx the nimbus or halo of glory, and the ten petals the Apostles - Peter and Judas being absent. They are very easy to raise from seed and very vigorous - given half a chance, they will take over your greenhouse. They grow well in pots and flowers are often produced in succession throughout the summer.
Description: A strong climber with white and purple-barred flowers, 3 or 4 ins. across, followed by edible white fruits 3 ins. long. Packet of 15 seeds.