Cup and Saucer Vine

Cobaea scandens - Mike DarcyCobaea scandens, or Cup and Saucer Vine, is a spectacular flowering vine, and when I see one in a garden, as I did recently, I wonder why we don’t see it in gardens more often. The common name comes from the shape of the flower, which is unusual in that when it opens it is a light green color and in a few days turns to purple.

Cup and saucer vine is a very vigorous and fast growing summer vine and would be an ideal choice to quickly cover a fence or trellis. It is easy to grow from seed and should be started indoors in the spring and then set outside when the weather warms. Black Gold Seedling Mix will give the seeds a great start. It is technically a perennial but should be treated as an annual here in the Pacific Northwest and anywhere else where winters are cold. The one drawback that I can think of is that it does not bloom until later in the summer, the last part of August/first part of September. However, I think the flowers are so striking that they are worth the wait. Even better, they are pollinated by bats in the evening hours.

About Mike Darcy

Mike lives and gardens in a suburb of Portland, Oregon where he has resided since 1969. He grew in up Tucson, Arizona where he worked at a small retail nursery during his high school and college years. He received his formal education at the University of Arizona where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture, and though he values his formal education, he values his field-experience more. It is hard to beat the ‘hands on’ experience of actually gardening, visiting gardens, and sharing information with other gardeners. Mike has been involved with gardening communications throughout his adult life. In addition to garden writing, he has done television gardening shows in Portland, and for over 30 years he hosted a Saturday radio talk show in Portland. Now he writes, speaks, gardens and continues to share his love of gardening. To be connected to the gardening industry is a bonus in life for Mike. He has found gardeners to be among the friendliest and most caring, generous people. Consequently, many of his friends he has met through gardening.

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