The colour of this flower is so unusual, you think this flower is out of this world! But the Strongylodon macrobotrys, also known as jade vine or emerald vine, is naturally this seafoam blue-green. The shape of the flower is also quite peculiar; this strikingly beautiful plant produces a cascade of claw-like flowers along its woody vines. Impressively, the jade vine can produce up to 100 blooms per stem! The stems can grow to a height of 18m long, with the evergreen leaves growing to be 25 inches long. The round fleshy pods are up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and contain up to 12 seeds.
In tropical climates, specifically climate zones, 9-11, gardeners can grow this spectacular specimen. You can also try growing this plant indoors. But you will need a lot of space, as this plant is a vigorous grower! Once it is established, it can grow over 40 ft (12 m) tall and the blooms can reach 3 ft (1m) wide! As with most climbers, the jade vine will require a strong support system to help it along, like a tree, wall or trellis.
The plant starts off with black buds and gradually develops into green leaves. Jade vine will bloom from late winter to early spring, but will take up to two years for the plant to mature. It thrives in full sun to partial shade in slightly acidic soil. The plant does not need a lot of water, but be sure to water it regularly.
Also, the plant will benefit from the occasional pruning. As a precaution, wear gloves, as the leaves may cause skin irritation.
The jade vine is native to the Phillipines and is considered a rare and threatened species in the wild due to deforestation in the rainforests. In the wild, the plant is pollinated by bats. It belongs to the Leguminosae family, the same family as peas and beans.
The beautiful jade vine flowers are used to make leis in Hawaii.