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Green Valley Supply's Gardening Encyclopedia

Dioclea Plant

Dioclea Plant

Dioclea grandiflora


What is Dioclea?

Dioclea is a flowering plant genus. It is native to America and belongs to the Fabaceae family of peas. Rivers disperse Dioclea seeds, often referred to as buoyant drift seeds. The plants are categorized under legumes.

Dioclea Description

Dioclea plant was named after Diocles Carytius, an ancient with great plant knowledge. He was as good as the Hippocrates when it came to plants. The legume genus is made up of about 16 plant varieties of shrub twiners. The tender plants feature delicate trifolilate leaves.

The Dioclea flowers are almost an inch long, ranging from violet and blue to white or scarlet. A cluster of flowers is comparable to Wisteria. The Calyx is shaped in the form of a bell. The lobes are narrow and short, with wider width than the length.

The top pod surface is thick and has two wings. Dioclea S. Calif has shiny foliage, grows moderately and is usually cut. Dioclea flowers bud in clusters of at least 10 within a scarlet.

Dioclea violacea


Dioclea Species

Some popular Dioclea varieties are as follows:

  • Dioclea grandiflora
  • Dioclea virgata
  • Dioclea umbrina
  • Dioclea guianensis
  • Dioclea huberi
  • Dioclea bicolor
  • Dioclea aurea
  • Dioclea erecta

Grow Dioclea at Home

If you want to beautify your garden with multiple colors, Dioclea is a perfect addition to any home garden. Browse our collection of gardening tools for the right product to till your garden.

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Ampelopsis in Fall

What is Ampelopsis?

Known scientifically as Ampelopsis brevipedunculata, ampelopsis is a climbing shrub that's also known as porcelain berry, wild grape, porcelain vine, ampelopsis glandulosa, creeper or Amur pepper vine. It belongs to the Vitaceae family of grapes. Named in 1803, the word ampelopsis was obtained from the Greek word 'ampelos', meaning 'vine.'

It's an ornamental, perennial plant that's woody and deciduous. It has tendrils, flowers and leaves with three palmate lobes. The leaves can grow up to 5 inches long. Featuring margins with coarse teeth, the leaves are white and shiny beneath.

Ampelopsis flowers appear in umbels directly opposite the leaves in the axils. The plant starts flowering in June and blooms in August. The flowers are oval to round in shape and grow in clusters. The fruits are lilac-blue and inviting, but inedible.

Ampelopsis Fruits and Leaves in Fall

Ampelopsis Fruits and Leaves in Fall


The plant is native to mountainous regions enjoying the temperate climate. Ampelopsis is found in Mexico, eastern parts of North America and eastern Asia. Some species are also found in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Although it is an invasive weed in some regions, it's a popular garden plant.

The porcelain vine looks best in autumn. It has exquisite, small berries that change color from green to turquoise to purple then blue and finally lilac. Known as a tendril deciduous vine, ampelopsis can grow 8 to 10 meters horizontally and 4 or 10 meters high.

Therefore, it can grow in narrow areas in gardens without much space. The diameter of the berries range from 4 to 8mm. Although ampelopsis is often confused with native grapes due to the shape of its leaves, it has a distinct pith.


Ampelopsis glandulosa var brevipedunculata does well in cool winters and humid climates. It grows in well-drained soils rich in humus. However, it can adapt well in rocky or sandy soils. The plant also requires enough water during growth. Porcelain berry is propagated from cuttings that grow into healthy vines.

Ampelopsis Fruits in Varied in Colors

Ampelopsis Fruits in Varied Colors

Qwert1234 at ja.wikipedia, Ampelopsis glandulosa var. heterophylla 0810, CC BY-SA 3.0

The creeper can be pruned vigorously in winter with regrowth of leaves in just a couple of months. Pruning promotes growth and gives the plant a desired shape. Hardwood cuttings for propagation can be taken during pruning. Porcelain vine does well in hardiness zones 4 to 8. Ampelopsis requires support structures during growth.

Ampelopsis cuttings and seeds can be grown in pots and transplanted later when they're ready. The plants can be transplanted when they attain 20cm in height.

Garden Uses of Ampelopsis Brevipedunculata

Ampelopsis can give gardens a mystique look. It can be used to cover fences, porches, walls, pergola, arbors and trellis, among other structures..

Check out our lightweight yet durable Fabric Planter Grow Bag to start propagating Ampelopsis for its ornamental benefits in your garden.

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Dracunculus Vulgaris (The Little Dragon) Plant

Dracunculus Vulgaris (The Little Dragon) Plant

                                     Dracunculus/the Little Dragon/Tarragon

What is Dracunculus Vulgaris?

Dracunculus is a plant that features a large spadix and spathe in purple; it often resembles a dragon, hence its name. It releases a bad smell of rotten meat to lure flies and other insect pollinators for pollination. It also has large palmate leaves that sometimes have cream flecks deposited on the leaf veins.

Also known as Dragon Arum, Dracunculus, Black Arum, Dragon Lily, Snake Lily, Voodoo Lily, Black Dragon, Dragonwort, Black Lily, Stink Lily and Ragons, the Little Dragon is an aroid plant species under the Dracunculus genus.

The Greece native range is known as Drakondia; a small dragon, the long spadix, is enclosed in the spathe. They are hardy perennials that bloom in the first few months of summer. The species from France is referred to as Tarragon.

Cultivation of the Little Dragon

The Little Dragon does well in hot climates and can tolerate some shade. Although it's drought resistant, it requires some watering. It's planted in well-drained, alkaline soils rich in humus.The herbaceous plants grow in hardiness zones 7 to 9 and can attain a maximum height of 36 inches.

They can take 30 to180 days to germinate. Dracunculus seeds are planted in the shaded parts of a garden in late winter or early spring. Due to the plant's bad scent and the fact that it attracts flies, it should be grown outdoors in a pot for its many benefits.

Dracunculus Uses/Benefits

The plant is used to make Tarragon or estragon essential oils. It has antibacterial properties that act against pneumonia and is rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals. They are used in culinary to improve digestive problems and can treat rheumatoid disorders and arthritis. It can also be used on venomous snake bites.

Want to grow the Little Dragon? Browse our gardening tools and supplies to find what you need grow Dracunculus vulgaris or any other plant

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