Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pink Saturday - Happy Wanderer

It's Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you.

This pretty, lavender flowering vine is growing on my neighbor Patty's fence. Its botanical name is Hardenbergia violacea, and it's a native of Australia. Here in the US, its commonly called Lilac Vine, or even Mexican Lilac Vine, but in Australia its common name is the much more charming "Happy Wanderer."

It's one of those plants that's sort of a shrub and sort of a vine. It twines itself loosely around supports and - overwhelmingly - other plants, and can cover a pergola or fence handily.

Its hard-to-remember botanical name is the fault of Austrian botanist Baron Carl Alexander Anselm Baron von Hügel, who undertook an expedition to Australia in 1833 - 1834, collecting plants and seeds. He named this pretty vine after his sister, Franziska Countess von Hardenberg.  There's no record whether she grew it herself or not.

Its narrow, evergreen leaves turn down attractively, and its tiny pea-like flowers bloom on long arching racemes in the early spring. The blooms are very delicate - the one you see here is no bigger than my fingernail. Hardenbergia is not for cold climates, sadly, but could be grown as a tender perennial.

Our spell of warm weather has brought flowers out nicely, and Patty's small garden is wreathed with blooming flowers.

"Happy Wanderer" is a perfect plant to grace the small cottage of my friend Patty, who herself has led a full, adventurous and well-traveled life - a Happy Wanderer indeed!


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That is an attractive plant.

It's one of those plants that's sort of a shrub and sort of a vine.

Could it be "trained" to be more shrubby? Does it develop any woody stems?

Jil~Say It With Roses said...

Beautiful. I saw this growing many places when we lived in San Diego, but had no idea what it was.
Jil ♥

Ms. Burrito said...

So pretty!

My PINK. I would like to invite you also to my meme, come link with me with Color Connection.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Do they attract butterflies?

Gabriela Delworth said...


Love this vine, lovely colour. I haven't seen it here.