A Spanish 'blue-stocking'

Maurandya barclayana.
Maurandya barclayana. / Wikimedia
  • Maurandya barclayana is a woody, twining vine with large ivy-shaped leaves and trumpet-shaped purple and white flowers

This vine is native to Mexico and is also known as Asarina barclaiana, Mexican Viper, Climbing Snapdragon and, misleadingly, since there are several plants that share this name, Angel's Trumpet.

Maurandya barclayana is a twining, woody based perennial vine with bright-green ivy-shaped leaves and attractive trumpet flowers which are purple and white. It climbs by wrapping its leaf stalks around a support, pulling itself upwards, reaching about two metres high.

The flowers, which attract pollinating insects, appear from summer and right through the autumn months. The vine is not frost-hardy but will survive short periods of drought; it needs partial shade and a dry, well-drained soil.

Maurandya can be propagated by seed or by cuttings taken in the summer. It may self-seed and has become naturalised in both Australia and the US.

It is a useful plant for covering ugly features in the garden, for planting on slopes (the roots are very fibrous and will help to prevent erosion) to provide ground cover or it can be planted in a container.

This species of the genus Maurandya was first described by Antonio José Cavonilles in 1793 based on plants grown in Spain. He erroneously named it Usteria scandens, a genus name that was already being used for a different group of plants. The name was later changed to Maurandya by Casimiro Gómez Ortega in honour of Catherina Pancratia Maurandy, the wife of Ortega's associate and professor at the Royal Botanic Garden in Cartagena. He is supposed to have said, “Doña Catherina Pancratia Maurandy, wife of Don Agustín Juna, a learned lady, a sharer if not a leader in her husband's botanical labours.”