Walled Garden’s rare plant flowers

Visitors to the new season at Croxteth Hall’s walled garden will be able to see a rare plant which has flowered in Liverpool for the first time in nearly 40 years.

The Green Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys) is native to the Philippines, where it is endangered in the wild through logging of rainforests.

It has spectacular luminous green jade colouring on spiky claws of blooms which dangle from the vine.

The Green Jade Vine is part of the city’s historic Botanical collection, grown in the greenhouses at the Walled Garden. The last time one of these plants flowered in Liverpool was in 1978 when the collection was at Harthill.

A new plant was brought to Croxteth by local man Stephen Lyus, an expert on the Botanical Collection.Green Jade Vine in bud

He was researching letters about the collection at Kew Gardens and knew that the heritage gardeners at Croxteth wanted a Green Jade Vine.

“I thought nothing ventured and I found the right person to contact and as luck would have it they had taken several cuttings from their vine earlier in that year, so had spares and were very happy to get this rare plant back where it once was. So I was allowed into the back regions at Kew and brought a large pot back on the train”

The walled garden and Croxteth Hall open to the public from Good Friday, 25 March.

Councillor Peter Mitchell, Mayoral lead for parks and open space, said: “The hall and the walled garden are always well worth visiting but this year the new season is getting off to an even better start with the flowering of a very rare plant.

“We do not know how long it will remain in flower so those who want to see this unusual and spectacular sight should make an early visit to the walled garden.”

Green Jade Vines can be can be found at Kew Gardens, the botanic gardens in Cambridge and at the Eden Project in Cornwall
• Liverpool’s Botanical Collection dates from 1803, when it was founded by a number of eminent  citizens including William Roscoe, the famous philanthropist, poet and anti-slavery campaigner, who became the Collection’s first president. It has had a number of locations in the city before moving to Croxteth. The 2008 Fragrant Project celebrated the history of the Collection, highlight of Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture.