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What is Eccremocarpus?

Vasanth S.
Vasanth S.

Eccremocarpus is a plant genus that is part of the Bignoniaceae family. It contains about five species of evergreen vines that are native to Chile, western Argentina, and Peru. The vines are locally known as the Chilean glory flower. They typically grow up to 23 feet (7 m) and feature brightly colored, tubular shaped flowers. Some species are susceptible to pests.

The vines in the Eccremocarpus genus are great climbers. They feature twining stems with extensions that have small hooks, which help to propel the plant upward as it grows. The vines become attached to the surface they are climbing, whether it is a wall or a fence. They are extremely hard to pull down once they are established.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

At the tips of the vine stems are flower growths, which are typically shaped like tubes. The flowers appear in a variety of colors, depending on the species. Eccremocarpus scaber features orange-red tubular flowers, while the Aureus hybrid has golden yellow flowers. The flowers are typically 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long and bloom in clusters.

Since the plants of this genus have an uncanny ability to grow vertically, they are typically used to cover bare exterior walls. The vines are fast growers, so planting seedlings at the base of a wall will produce vines soon after. These vines are also used to cover trellises, especially those built over walkways or over gardens. Eccremocarpus vines are also grown over tree barks and branches or through shrubs.

Most vines within the Eccremocarpus genus require well-draining, fertilized soil to grow well. The area in which the seeds are planted should have access to direct sunlight. Generally, seeds are sown indoors in late winter or early spring. The recommended temperature of the soil is 55° to 61°F (13-16°C). After the seedlings emerge and establish themselves, the vine is transplanted outdoors.

Eccremocarpus scaber is affected by several pests, including the red spider mite and whitefly. Symptoms of red spider mite infestation include the appearance of pale molting on the upper leaf surface. More severe infestations are characterized by sticky webbing which clings to the leaves and stems of the vine.

A whitefly infestation is easily identified against the green backdrop of the vine. The whitefly is a white winged insect, which will swarm in groups when the leaves are shaken. Also, newly hatched whiteflies are usually embedded on the underside of leaves. Both spider mites and whiteflies can be washed away using insecticidal soap.

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