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Pandorea pandorana, Wonga Vine

Pandorea pandorana, Wonga Vine, is a member of the Bignoniaceae family. This woody scrambler or climber has long, twining branches with fawn coloured bark.

The leaves are pinnate with from three to seven leaflets up to 15 centimetres long. Juvenile leaves have small, numerous leaflets giving plants, at this stage, a ferny appearance.

Flowers are tubular, about two centimetres long, usually creamy-white with either brown or purple markings in the throat. Flowering is both profuse and conspicious in spring. The floral display is particularly eye-catching because the blooms are held in large terminal clusters.

The capsules, that follow the flowers, are oblong; tapering at both ends and contain a number of winged seeds.

There are a number of colour forms: “Snowbells” has pure white flowers and “Golden Showers” with distinctive yellow-bronze blooms are well known.

“Golden Showers” is a particularly interesting form. It comes from the forest country, west of Kempsey, northern NSW. Many years ago trip by the Armidale Group of APS came across this form in the forested country, east of Armidale. Not so long ago a researcher, from the University of New England, also came across the form in the same area. Some cuttings were collected and “Golden Shower” is growing happily in our garden.

P. pandorana is widespread in eastern Australia from Cape York to southern Victoria. There are also occurrences on Flinders Island in Bass Strait and in central Australia.

Propagate from seed and cuttings. Colour forms should be propagated from cuttings to maintain the flower colour.

Warren and Gloria Sheather

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