Clianthus - Glory Pea, Lobster Claw, Lobster-Claw, Parrotbeak, Parrot's Bill
DESCRIPTION: This group consists of two tender, semi-evergreen shrubs from New Zealand. Their height ranges from 3-6 feet and they produce beautifully colored flowers in May and June. These plants are commonly known as Parrot's Bill, Parrotbeak, Lobster-claw and Glory Pea because of the interesting shape of their gorgeous blossoms. C. puniceus is a vigorous-growing, climbing shrub. It is medium-sized with pretty pinnate leaves, 3 to 6 inches long, consisting of 11 to 25, oblong leaflets. The large, bright red flowers are produced in clusters, in early summer; they are long with pointed petals. C. puniceus var. Albus is a medium-sized plant that has white flowers tinged with green. C. Dampieri's flowers are scarlet blotched with black.
POTTING: Clianthus can be grown outdoors in tropical climates only; otherwise, they may be cultivated in a greenhouse. When grown outside, plant in a sunny, hot place in well-drained soil. When grown indoors, they are planted in containers filled with loam and peat with grit or coarse sand added. These plants need excellent drainage. Pruning can be done in early summer once the flowers have died. This mainly consists of removing dead and crowded branches, which will prevent blooming.
PROPAGATION: Cuttings of young shoots can be planted in peat moss and sand in a propagating greenhouse in the spring. Seeds can also be used to increase this plant. C. Dampieri gives the best results when tiny seedlings are grafted on to seedlings of Colutea arborescens and placed in a warm propagating case until united.
VARIETIES: C. puniceus & var. albus; C. Dampieri.
Red Queen Clianthus
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