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A vigorous evergreen climber, with ternate, biternate, and triternate leaves. The three, six, or nine leaflets are of hard texture, each 2 to 4 in. long, the middle one of each trio the largest. They vary much in outline, but are mostly ovate, the lateral ones more or less oblique, and often sessile, margins shallowly crenate, with here and there a sharply pointed tooth; leaf-stalks covered with short brown hairs. Flowers functionally unisexual; males 3⁄4 in. across, produced in drooping spikes 3 to 4 in. long from the leaf axils; the sepals form the most effective part of the flower, being broadly ovate, fleshy and dark chocolate purple; petals small, narrow, white and mealy. Female flowers on slender stalks 1 in. long, solitary in the leaf-axils, rather larger than the male. Fruits sausage-shaped, 2 to 3 in. long; seeds flattened and about the size of small peas. Bot. Mag., t. 4501.
Native of Chile; introduced in 1844, it flowered in the Exeter nursery of Messrs Veitch five years later. Seen in flower, it is very striking. The fruit is sweet, pulpy, and edible, and is said to be sold in the markets of Chile. This climber is essentially one for the milder parts of the kingdom. It is too tender to be satisfactory even on a wall at Kew.