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Argyreia Nervosa var. Speciosa
More commonly known as Hawaiian Baby Woodrose or elephant creeper, this perennial flowering vine is in the same family as morning glory (Convolvulaceae) and has similar characteristics. The name Hawaiian Baby Woodrose is said to be derived from the appearance of the seed pods which look like little wooden roses. Its leaves are heart-shaped and its trumpet-shaped flowers are white with deep purple throats. This species is not to be confused with Hawaiian Woodrose, which is another plant entirely. A. Nervosa is said to originate in Asia (Bangladesh) despite the plant’s more popular association with Hawaii. A. nervosa plants are slow-growing at first but will grow rapidly after reaching about twelve inches and can easily reach thirty feet with maturity. Since A. Nerovsa is a vine, it will need structure to climb and is especially useful in providing floral decor for fences, mailbox and trellis. These plants can be grown outdoors all year round where temperatures do not freeze or be put in pots and be brought indoors for the winter elsewhere. Cuttings can also be taken by layering. The roots, leaves and seeds were used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for a variety of purposes including, purification, nervous system support, joint health and sexual arousal. Despite traditional use in India, the seeds should not be used in the United States because they contain compounds that are illegal to ingest. Given its Asian origin, this plant does not appear to have been a part of South American shamanic traditions as some sources indicate. However, it is now cultivated tropical America.
These seeds are from Ghana. We also offer seeds from Hawaii.
Argyreia nervosa seeds have a thick coat. Therefore, scarification is recommended to speed up and increase germination. Nick or file the seed coat away from the germ eye. (The germ eye is the little circular dent at the top of the seed.) Then soak the seeds until they swell up. This typically happens in 12-24 hours. The seeds should then be sown at a depth of half an inch in a rich, well-draining soil mixture. The seedlings will prefer less light at first but will eventually come to prefer full sun with maturity. This is probably because they naturally start their growth in the shade of other plants before rising into the warm tropical sun. Sprouting seeds and young seedlings are heavily prone to rot. Therefore, a variation on the germination method is to soak the seeds for less time and then germinate them in a very lightly moist paper towel in a zipper baggie. This avoids the retention of too much water in the initial stage that could lead to rot. After the seeds have germinated, transplant them into soil. Keep plants constantly watered and provide plenty of drainage and root space. Large plants should be trimmed back if space is an issue.