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Muehlenbechia (wirevine)

Andy andrewmc at inet.net.nz
Sun Nov 21 00:54:50 EST 1999

Stephanie Coulshaw wrote:

> Sandy wrote:
> >
> > Stephanie Coulshaw wrote:
> >
> > > Hello! I recently purchased a plant I'd never heard of before, a
> > > Muehlenbechia.
> > The Muehlenbeckia is a native of New Zealand, and there are others found in
> > Australia and South America. <snip>
> > Here is some info on it:
> > http://florawww.eeb.uconn.edu/acc_num/198501373.html
> The web site mentions that the plant is semi-deciduous.  What happens
> when you grow a deciduous plant indoors with no seasons?  Will it drop
> all its leaves at some point?
> The lady who sold me the plant said that it has only recently been grown
> as a house plant, so there's no information in any of the books I've
> seen on it.  Any help is appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Stephanie
> (near Ottawa, Canada)

Hi Stephanie

    Muehlenbeckia spp. will grow just fine as a house plant.  The reason that it
is called semi deciduous is simply that it responds to the climate that it grows
in. In the colder parts of New Zealand it loses its leaves and it retains them in
the warmer parts. (our climate ranges from subtropical in the far north to
subantarctic in the south).
    It grows freely in the forest areas where I live (Christchurch) and this is
not a warm place in the winter !  N.Z species include M. astonii, M.axillaris &
M.complexa all are hardy in N.Z zones 8-10 which means that they can withstand
temperatures as low as -12 degrees celsius. Some varieties grow quite happily in
windswept alpine areas.

P.S      The "berries" which are in fact swollen petals which surround the seed
are edible and were a
            food source for Maori children.

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