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South Bay plants
Also does anyone know of any places that sell a few varieties of bananas inexpensively? I've seen a few places with bananas selling them at outragous prices. $40 for a 5 gallon Ensete Maurellii is ridiculous considering how fast they grow. Thanks
The following thread was started by Eric, San Jose CA on April 10, 2008 at 7:52 am PST
Lumbermen's here in Santa Cruz regularly carries passion vines, as there is a wholesaler in Watsonville, I think it's suncrest, that propagates them.
I've bought ensete ventricosum bananas for $7/1 gallon plants at West Side nursery in Santa Cruz.
I still have extra dwarf orinoco pups if you're interested. You just need to arrange to visit in advance.
The above followup was added by Axel on April 10, 2008 at 7:58 am PST.
Bomarea and others
Personally, I think Distictis buccinatoria, however common it might be, is hard to beat. Hardenbergia comptoniana is another favorite of mine. I would also look into the bomareas: very lovely tropical-looking stuff. Telos Rare Bulbs in Arcata sells. B. caldassii by mail-order as well as some of the less common varieties such as B. hirtella, B. patacoensis and B. acutifolia. They also have the lovely Tropaeolum azureum from Chile if you're up to something more challenging.
At this time of the year, you can probably root cuttings of passifloras that you find locally. That's what I've done. They're a little bit slow to root, but once it's established you'll be cutting it back with a machete.
The above followup was added by Steve in Brookings on April 10, 2008 at 8:13 am PST.
Vines and others things...
The Bananas might be found cheapest at H.D. or Lowes. Last year Goldfinger and Ice cream were at HD. Regans in Fremont around May get the whole field of sub tropical fruiting trees.Just every one mentioned her eon the Cloudforest. Not cheap,but if you want it and like the idea of seeing what your getting AND they have enough of each to pick "the best one"..unlike mailorder.
Eric,for the best in exotic vines..the Berkeley Botanical garden always has the hard to find..Bomaria last i was there,native Aristilocia and hybryds,Passion vines. You just never know is the problem.
The Dry Garden in Oakland,if you havent been there your missing the best of the bay area exotics selection...some things seem expensive..and other rare things are Kmart cheap..another you never know...
The above followup was added by Stan.. on April 10, 2008 at 9:19 am PST.
Blood red trumpet vine(Distictis buccinatoria)
is a beautiful vine to have when it flowers, and I especially like Distictis riversii (Royal trumpet vine) for the flower's color. I have access to a large red/orange trumpet vine and have been trying to root cuttings, but not sure how to do it since the "branches" are thin but strong vines with nodes every 6 or 8 inches. Do you stick them vertical into the soil, or bury them horizontally? On eBay it's easy to find cheap seeds and rooted volunteer red/orange trumpet vine plants. The royal one is much harder to find on eBay, but places like OSH and sometimes Home Depot sell it.
Be forwarned, the eBay plants I won looked dead until the day the first leaf appeared. I bought 5 for about $5 and even this 2nd winter in containers they looked so dead(after a year of growth) that I almost threw them out.
There's also a Vanilla trumpet vine (Distictis Laxiflora) that's fragrant. And don't write off Bougainvillea...the purple varieties can handle some cold, and I have a common red one planted 30 years ago that took 18.5 degrees winter before this one in it's usual cold winter fashion...all the branches died, and by mid spring there were about 10 eight foot long new shoots (branches/vines?) going straight up to the sky and it was flowering a month later. Right now, this same plant is already blooming, this after a normal Topanga winter with 3 or 4 nights where the low was 28 degrees and plenty of 30-32 degree lows. I also have two 1 gallon Royal Purple Bougainvilleas, bought around Dec, they've been outside all winter, never lost their leaves and one is just starting to push out a couple of flower tracts.
The above followup was added by John Zone 9b Topanga Canyon, Ca on April 11, 2008 at 2:03 am PST.
A new small vine to look for...
Its a Mandavilla called 'parasol"..red,red,red,..and unlike the famous family relative 'red riding hood',parasol does grow into a nice bushy small vine. 'RRH',outdoors stays shrubby,-and thats a nice trait too if your looking for that.
I've seen parasol bloom heavy in Berkeley. It's not that it needs high heat,it just doesnt want heavy frost. Does fine for me..ready to bloom now.It's a bloomer for almost 10 months a year.
The above followup was added by stan on April 11, 2008 at 7:45 am PST.
Thanks for the suggestions
I looked up several of the suggested vines on the internet and a lot of them look great! Thanks for all the ideas. Now I need to go out looking for a few of them!!
The above followup was added by Eric, San Jose CA on April 11, 2008 at 8:11 am PST.
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