Author Topic: Lardizabalaceae  (Read 6331 times)


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    • Peru, San Martin, Rioja, Zone 12, 950m elevation
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Re: Lardizabalaceae
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2023, 03:07:50 PM »
Well the plot thickens as it has recently been discovered that Lardizabala mimics nearby plants just like Boquila. It not only mimics leaves but just yesterday l observed it mimicking the growth form of a support tree as well. It's a rather long story but to give an overview: l have mature vines of Lardizabala growing to the top of a large Quercus suber (cork oak) at my back door.  These vines are almost 40years old & have been fruiting for about 20 years. They  are nearly 50' up to the top of the tree. I have always considered Lardizabala to be a species with quite variable leaves an observation which l put down to genetic variability,  that is until a recent trip to Tasmania where l saw a very different looking Lardizabala with very large roundish leaves with totally entire margins. As this looked so different from mine at home l obtained 2 seedling plants from the source & returned home with them. When l compared the photos of the one in Tasmania to mine l suddenly realized that the leaves were mimicking nearby plants & in fact do this just like Boquila does.

 I contacted Ernesto Gianoli in Chile who discovered the phenomenon in Boquila & sent him many photos & he concurs that Lardizabala is indeed performing the same stunt as Boquila! Further he told me that it is an accepted fact among the local traditional population in the areas where Lardizabala grows that the best flavored & quality fruit is dependent on the tree species it grows on! This may seem hard to swallow but this same species is making both cork oak leaves & Lapageria rosea leaves on the one vine at my place. It even mimics the curl of the oak &  the texture of the Lapageria.

 I like the flavor of 'oak grown' Lapageria, it's  got a nice, if subtle sweetness if you're prepared to swirl & spit to separate the pulp from the seeds! It certainly has more flavor than any Akebia l've eaten & also Stauntonia hexaphylla which is pretty bland too.

I haven't tasted Boquila as l have recently struck cuttings of one clone only, & sown seed which l hope is viable as it's taken many years to obtain here.

Wow. My hat goes off to you. You've had Lardizabala biternata fruiting for 20 years? What is the exact location in terms of climate in Australia?

I bought two small potted plants and planted them at my parents' house in Santa Barbara, CA about 11 years ago. I placed them on the north side of a wooden fence underneath an ornamental loquat tree, so that they would be in pretty heavy shade. A few years ago, I remember seeing a couple flowers on one of the vines. I haven't visited in years, but my parents still own the place, so I would be curious if those vines survived. I'll see if I can remember to ask them. Like most everything I planted there, I only ever hand watered them with deep irrigation a couple times per year (mostly to just extend the Mediterranean rainy season). It was really tough love for all the plants in that garden, just trying to determine which plants could be more drought-tolerant.


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