Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mansoa alliacea - A Garlicky Vine

Mansoa alliacea (garlic vine) is a woody, flowering liana. The plant is a climbing vine and can be trained into a woody tall stem over time. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering so that it does not look straggly. It can easily be propagated from the semi-hardwood cuttings. 

The garlic vine is so-called because of the garlicky smell that emits when the  leaves are crushed. A faint garlic odour can be discerned from its blossoms.  However, it is not at all related to the edible garlic.

 
 Flowers are trumpet-shaped and produced in dense clusters. This vine is not a frequent bloomer, producing flowers occasionlly.  However when it blooms, the flowering is profuse and indeed spectacular.

It is a prolific bloomer when it decides to bloom. The entire vine can be covered with flowers.


 
Each starts off with deep purple petals and changes ...

 
... to a lighter shade with age ...

 
 ... and finally fading to white before it turns brown and drops off from the vine.
 

When the clusters are fully blooming, one can see three different shades of colours (lavender-purple, lavender-pink, pale lavender, white) on the plant.

 
This garlic vine had attached itself up on the fronds of the of Cyrtostachys renda (Lipstick Palm) for support as it climbs upwards to reach for sunlight. 


 
It can sometimes be unruly and scrambled over other plants for support. Here it has sought support  from the Hibiscus shrub.


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