This exotic looking flower is Eccremocarpus scaber, otherwise known as the Chilean glory vine. When you remember how cold it was in March, this little beauty not only survived, but seemed to thrive. It is a well established plant, which grows at the foot of a conifer hedge, it doesn’t get any special treatment and seems as tough as old boots. During the winter I cut it back to ground level to keep it in check, but it regrew very quickly and has been flowering for weeks now.

Chilean glory vine in flower

It is such an easy-to-grow plant which flowers continuously from Spring to Winter. It climbs using is curly, twining tendrils and will quickly cover a trellis, old tree, fence or conifer hedges with its delicate evergreen foliage, reaching a height of about 3m. The stems are quite brittle and will snap if you try and train it, so best left to scramble where it wants.

The tubular flowers of red, orange and yellow are attractive to hummingbirds, but unfortunately we don’t have any in this country, so I cannot vouch for that. The seed pods are interesting and when they are ripe the paper thin seeds fly every where – just don’t leave your windows open! I have found the odd seedling in the garden.

Eccremocarpus is often sold as an annual and will flower in its first year. However, in my experience, I have found that this plant to be tougher than it looks and it has survived many cold winters.