Today in Key West: Thryallis Vine

My pair of potted thryallis shrubs guarantees that, each season from August into October, my hot-color garden back in New England is graced by fireworky spikes of yellow and red flowers. This thryallis brings the same excitement to the street scene of Key West year-round—but it's a vine.


Tristellateia australasiae 022818 two 915


Hello Tristellateia australasiae. The name Tristellateiacomes from the Latin words for three (tres) and star (stella), and refers to the fact that the three samaras in the intact fruit resemble a cluster of three stars. OK, then.


The flower spikes seem identical to those of the shrubby species I've grown for years up North as a summer-flowering conservatory specimen, Galphemia gracilis. Both species are in the same family, the Malphighiaceae, so this similarity is not unexpected.


Tristellateia australasiae 022818 one 915


Might this vining species be a more effective, easy to please, or exciting vehicle for these stunning flower spikes than the shrubby form? Only one way to find out.




Here's how to grow the shrubby form of thryallis, Galphemia gracilis. Its hardiness and cultural requirements are similiar.


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