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Plantidote of the Day 2011-01-28

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cape honeysuckle

Tecomaria capensis

Cape honeysuckle

A member of the honeysuckle family, this South African import grows everywhere here in Zone 10, mostly wild, on canyon hillsides and in vacant lots. They can be trimmed into hedges, and with their abundant branches and leaves, they're perfect for a privacy screen. But typically they're left alone, growing as high as twenty to thirty feet.

Cape honeysuckles require very little care. They like lots of sun and good drainage, and in return they'll produce dozens of clusters of tomato-red flowers several times during the year, including mid-winter! (Big hat tip to ydrasl for suggesting this. Thanks!)

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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