Combretum is a robust, deciduous climber, sometimes a scrambling shrub or small tree. Masses of small flowers with bright red petals and long stamens form massed sprays which festoon the branches for about three weeks in spring. The oval leaves are 13-60mm long and 13-50mm wide. The fruit is 4-winged, green tinged with red or pink when young, drying to pale yellowish brown. Combretums have adapted to wind dispersal by developing a wing-like fruit structure that can carry the seed with the help of air currents or wind.
Allow it to grow up a fence or strong pergola or even to tumble down a north facing bank or grow into a large tree. Without support it will form a large rambling and spreading shrub. Grow in a protected position in a frost-prone area in light, well-drained soil enriched with compost. Water particularly well in Summer, but can withstand drought well. Prune hard if necessary to keep under control. Propagated from seed.
Species and varieties: