Orange flame vine

Pyrostegia venusta or Orange Flame Vine is in full flower this month. It’s unusual in that it tends to lose leaves & look fairly insignificant in summer, then bursts into a spectacular flower show in winter. Although toxic to animals (do not plant near stock), in its native Brazil it has been used as a tonic and to treat diarrhoea. If you want something bright & cheerful in the garden in winter, this climber could be ideal for you. It is incredibly hardy (regarded as invasive in other parts of the world), and will quickly climb up (via its tendrils)¬†and over whatever it is planted next to. It is not difficult to contain here – simply prune back any growth heading in a direction you don’t want it to. Growth only happens in the colder months, so it’s something you can neglect through summer, and it’s coastal tolerant.