Dalbergia armata (Thorny Rope) is a plant native to South Africa. This vigorous vine or creeper is an aggressive grower and can reach heights of 20-30 feet when provided with appropriate support. It produces glossy, dark green pinnate leaves with four to eight leaflets, and white to off-white flowers with a sweet fragrance, which bloom from October to November. After the flowers fade, thin papery seed pods form with small, flat seeds.
Thorny Rope prefers well-drained soil, semi-shade or dappled shade, and regular waterings. It can handle dry periods, but moderate waterings provide the best growth and bloom results. In colder climates, it can die back in the cold and should be grown in a pot. The potting mix should drain easily and soil should be kept moist during the growing season. During the winter months, reduce water and keep soil from getting wet. Also, be sure to protect the pot from extreme cold with a frost blanket or burlap.
The thorns on the stems of Thorny Rope are thin and may be difficult to see, so it is recommended to wear thick gardening gloves when handling the plant. It is an excellent addition to the garden and works great in landscape design. This plant can also be grown as a houseplant, and is suitable for warm, high trellises. When cared for properly, the Thorny Rope can create a lush foliage with its aggressive growth habit.