Looking lovely in the garden now is the Purple Velvet Bean vine, Mucuna cyclocarpa. This lowland native to Southeastern China makes a superb deciduous vine that flowers non-stop from mid-summer until fall. To us, the bizarre fleshy flower clusters look like those characters from the old Fruit of the Loom commercials. Interestingly, we must not have the pollinators it needs in our region, since it never sets any seed unless hand pollinated. One of the other species, Mucuna pruriens, has been widely studied, and found to have countless medicinal properties, but it doesn’t seem that M. cyclocarpa has been studied so far. All plants in the US seem to trace back to the former Yucca Do Nursery, who obtained seed from a visiting Chinese researcher.

Mucuna cyclocarpa

This entry was posted in Plant images from the garden and nursery, Plant Spotlight and tagged Asian perennials, botanic garden, chinese herbs, Chinese native, flowers that bloom all summer, JLBG, juniper level botanic garden, Plant Delights Nursery, purple flowers, summer flowering perennials, summer flowers, Tony Avent, vine, zone 7b by Juniper Level Botanic Garden. Bookmark the permalink.

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