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Products > Solanum wendlandii
Solanum wendlandii - Giant Potato Creeper
Image of Solanum wendlandii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Solanaceae (Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)
Origin: Costa Rica (North America)
Flower Color: Blue
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: 10-15 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Solanum wendlandii (Costa Rican Nightshade) - A semi-evergreen large vigorous vine from tropical central America that can grow to 10 to 15 feet tall and wide. It has large 4 to 8 inch long ovate thick leaves, often with hooked thorns along the midrib on the leaf underside and large terminal panicles of 1 1/2 to 2 inch wide deep purple flowers that fade to lavender, then white over their long blooming period. Flowers abundantly during warm months of the year from spring into fall with enough heat but sometimes has a scattered bloom even in later winter in mild years . Plant in full to partial sun with average to abundant water. Stays evergreen in warm tropical gardens but is deciduous for most California gardeners where can be hardy to 20 F or a bit lower. A good plant in the garden but also grows well and blooms early in containers. This plant comes from Southern Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala and northwestern South America. The name for the genus comes from the Latin name used by Pliny for a nightshade. The specific epithet honors Dr. Dr. Hermann Wendland (1825-1903), the director of the Royal Gardens at Herrenhausen, Hannover who first sent the original plants to Kew where it was described by Joseph Hooker in 1887. It is also commonly called Giant Potato Creeper, Giant Potato Vine, Blue Potato vine, Giant Potato creeper, Paradise flower and Divorce Vine, this last name possibly because of the thorns on the leaves.  The information presented on this page is based on research that we have conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also consider observations we have made of it growing in the nursery's garden and in other gardens we have visited, as well how it performs in our nursery crops out in the field. We will incorporate comments that we receive from others as well and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they have knowledge of cultural information that would aid others in growing Solanum wendlandii.