This spectacular bloomer from is originated from South America, from Mexico to Brazil, and also known as Ajos Sacha ("false garlic" in Spanish). It grows into a semi-woody vine that attaches itself around the trunk of a large tree for support as it climbs skywards to reach for sunlight. The terminal leaflet of this plant is often modified into a tendril that helps the vine to cling onto a support. The two special features makes this plant pretty unique. First, the blooms. Deep lavender flowers with white throat are fading to a paler lavender as they mature. You will see 3 different color of flowers at the same time on the plant. The vine blooms heavily twice a year: in Fall-Winter, and in Spring, although it may also have some flowers on and off throughout the year. Secondly, the small of the leaves makes it a conversation piece: crushed leaves smell like garlic, although of course the plant is not related to the common edible onion or garlic at all. This plant is even used as substitute for garlic in food. The entire plant - roots, stems and leaves, is used medicinally: to reduce fevers, treat colds, throat, respiratory ailments, arthritic and rheumatic pain. Colds, flu and fever are treated with garlic vine, and this herb is often used to address "smoker's cough." Garlic vine is also effective as a mosquito repellent. The plant is said to help get rid of bad luck and is a favorite with hunters. Some Amazon natives offer their dogs a brew of this botanical to ensure success during the hunt. It is one of the most rewarding flowering vines that you can grow, unless you are a vampire!
Like many other flowering vines, the garlic vine should not be overly pruned as flower buds appear on new growth. Many gardeners make this mistake by pruning away the vines to keep new growth in check and as a result, plants refuse to produce flowers. It is a vine with a moderate growth rate and one need not worry that is will become an unruly resident in the garden. It can be grown in containers and should be trimmed after the flowers are gone. Great for chain link fences (or any fence), or a large trellis. Avoid freezing temperatures.
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