Sometimes I feel like if I put out to the universe what I am looking for then these things tend to show up. Okay, universe, you’ve been alerted, on the top of my “plant wish list” is Rhodochiton atrosanguineum, “Purple Bell Vine”. Are you familiar with this plant?
The first time I saw Rhodochiton atrosanguineum was during a garden visit as part of the Garden Writers Association conference in Buffalo, New York last summer. As I toured this homeowner’s garden taking photos I literally stopped when I saw this plant. It doesn’t happen too often that I see an entirely new plant. Well, new to me, that is.
What could this be? Where do I get one?
The Purple Bell Vine was being grown on a small obelisk structure and had completely engulfed the metal frame. The deep purple flowers were hanging from top to bottom.
It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? I couldn’t help but to start researching this plant as soon as I sat down on the bus. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
From Annie’s Annuals and Perennials: Introduced from Mexico way back in 1833, Rhodochiton atrosanguineum is a funky fast growing option for baskets or a shady trellis. Vines stay a compact 10’ and produce masses of bell-shaped, maroon-purple, pendant flowers that dangle like flowery ornaments on fine threadlike stems. Inspiring! Lovely 2”, heart-shaped leaves edged in purple adorn its tendrils. Best blooms occur in bright shade throughout Summer and Fall. Protect from frost in Winter or bring indoors. Rich soil and a good feedings will make for a happy vine. Part shade to full shade.
From Select Seeds: This refined beauty of a vine was introduced from Mexico in 1833. The small heart-shaped toothed leaves are dark green with burgundy edges. The violet bell-shaped flowers have a maroon “clapper”, and the 2″ flowers sway from the ends of thread-like stems. Try it in containers or twining up string trellises where it will bloom until late fall freezes.
Hardiness: Tender Annual
Size: 6-10 ft
Season: Summer to fall
Sun: Full sun
Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained
So I think the real question at this point is: Am I ordering plants or seeds?