Tropaelum azureum

Tropaelum azureum

Habitat:

Easily grown in very well drained soil or a deep pot of potting soil containing gravel. Likely to be difficult for areas that get regular summer rains.

Distribution:

Chile, in arid Andean foothills amongst scrub

Cultivation:

It requires summer dryness.

Description:

A tuberous species sending up twining hair-like stems, anchoring themselves to any available support with dark green, 5 lobed leaves. Flowers are small but very numerous, with white throats, blue-purple, which appear during cool spring weather.

Background:

References point to the first lot of tubers of this species being sent to Mr. Veitch, of the Mount Radford Nursery, Exeter. England in 1842. The tubers were sent over, only two months previously to the day of exhibition, from Chili, by Mr. Veitch’s Collector, Mr. William Lobb. (Ed: Another chap you could write volumes about on his travels to South America). References also indicate that tubers of this plant may have been brought to Australia by John Bidwill from England in 1844. Now here is a charactor and a half.

It appears that in 1841 on a business trip to Brisbane Bidwill undertook the collection and documentation of unknown species. The most famous of these was the Bunya Pine originally discovered by Andrew Petrie. Because Bidwill became the first to send samples back overseas to England the scientific naming of the tree honoured him. That name, Araucaria bidwillii, caused much criticism by the Petrie family even in recent times, who believed Andrew Petrie should have been recognised in the naming.

Availability:

At this stage, display only