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A semi-woody climber with herbaceous shoots and the habit of a clematis; stems ribbed, not downy. Leaves opposite, doubly pinnate; leaflets three, five, or seven on each subdivision, ovate, oblique, irregularly and unequally lobed, 1⁄4 to 11⁄4 in. long, often heart-shaped at the base, glabrous; the main-stalks end in a much-branched tendril which supports the plant by twisting round any available object. Flowers nodding, produced from June onwards in racemes 4 to 6 in. long, of usually seven to twelve blossoms. Corolla nearly 1 in. long, bright orange-red, tubular, bellied on one side, contracted at the mouth to a narrow orifice, where are five small, rounded lobes; stamens four. Calyx minutely glandular. Seeds flat, winged, numerous, in inflated pods 11⁄2 in. long, 5⁄8 in. wide. Bot. Mag. t. 6408.
Native of Chile; introduced in 1824. This handsome climber is not reliably hardy and usually treated as an annual or biennial. The seed should be sown in February in heat and the seedlings planted out, after being once potted, in May; larger plants are obtained if the seed is sown in August and the seedlings overwintered in a frost-free house or frame.
Usually classed with woody plants, it scarcely has a right to be considered as such out-of-doors, although in greenhouses it lives an indefinite time, and forms a stout woody base. Open-ground plants, if left through the winter, will not infrequently break into growth again from soil level. At Brodick in the Isle of Arran this species is counted as hardy and makes seasonal growths 8 to 10 ft long. It produces self-sown seedlings at Belhaven House, E. Lothian.
Forms with yellow and with crimson flowers are available in the trade.