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Products > Pithecoctenium crucigerum
 
Pithecoctenium crucigerum - Monkey-comb
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Bignoniaceae (Bignonias)
Origin: Central America (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Creamy White
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Amphilophium crucigerum, P.echinatum]
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Pithecoctenium crucigerum (Monkey-comb) - An evergreen to semi-evergreen vine with 3 soft leaflets with the middle one often becoming a tendril that helps support the plant. In late spring, there is a short but beautiful bloom of creamy white flowers with yellow throats that arise vertically and arch over to face out from the plant, making for a very showy display. As the flowers mature they darken so that each flower is entirely yellow. Plant in full sun or part shade, with moderate watering. Remains evergreen to 30-32 F and stems are hardy to mid 20's F. This plant is native from southern Mexico south to Brazil. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'pithekos' (or Latin 'pitheco') meaning an "ape" or a "monkey" and 'ctenion' meaning a comb in reference to the spiny fruit that can develop which could be used as a comb. The common name Monkey-comb makes this same reference but we have never seen our plants produce this fruit here in Santa Barbara. This vine graces the corner of our sales office and is often in full bloom in June. There is some confusion over this vine and an Argentine species. P. cynchoides which is also white with yellow streaks in the throat but does not have P. crucigerum's characteristic bent floral tube. This plant was originally described as Bignonia crucigera but according to The Plant list the current name for this taxa is Amphilophium crucigerum. Since we have long grown it under the name Pithecoctenium and so not to confuse customers (or our own employees), we continue to list it under this older name.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in the San Marcos Growers library, from online sources, and from observations made of the crops growing in our nursery, plants in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens where we may have observed it. We also have incorporated comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Pithecoctenium crucigerum.
 
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