Tropaeolum pentaphyllum


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Kelly acquired this tuberous species in the late 1980's, an almost inconceivably distant time when correspondence was cursive and timepieces had hands.  A request for seeds of this species was sent after receiving the Index Seminum (seed list) from the legendary English plantsman, Harry Hay, with the memorable address of Margery Hall Pig Farm.  The resultant plants have survived nobly over the intervening 30-odd years which was no small achievement given that some of those years were odd indeed.  From round tubers arise thin vines wanting to climb with green leaves comprised as expected of 5 leaflets narrow pink flowers whose yellowish inner face is stippled in red.  An bonus are the deep blue pearls of seeds.  Good drainage, especially in winter and quite easy in pot culture, overwintered inside.


Plant Type

  • Vine

Mature Size

Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun

Water Needs

Bloom Time

  • Summer
  • Autumn