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Holboellia latifolia - Wall.

Common Name
Family Lardizabalaceae
USDA hardiness 8-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Forests, shrubberies and shady ravines below 4000 metres[51]. Forests, mixed forests by streams or other shady moist sites, forest margins on mountain slopes, along valleys 600 - 3000 m[266].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas from India to China.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Holboellia latifolia

Holboellia latifolia


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of climber
Holboellia latifolia is an evergreen Climber growing to 4 m (13ft 1in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower in March. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Stauntonia latifolia.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; North Wall. By. East Wall. By. South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[51, 177, 272]. A mealy texture and often considered to be insipid[2, 146, 243], though it is considered to be very palatable in the Himalayas[183]. The fruit is large[105], purple, sausage-shaped with many black seeds in the white pulp[183].The fruit is up to 10cm long[200].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Easily grown in any fertile soil in sun or part shade[182, 200]. Plants grow best on a shady wall or when grown into a tree[200]. They succeed in sun or deep shade, but fruits are much more likely to be produced when the plants are grown in a sunny position[200, 219]. Plants are not fully hardy in Britain, they tolerate temperatures down to about -15°c[184] and can be damaged by prolonged periods below -5°c[200]. A plant outdoors between two greenhouse at Cambridge Botanical Gardens was thriving in 1989[K]. Plants thrive in S.W. England[11, 59] but do not fruit freely in this country[11]. Plants at Dartington Hall in Devon occasionally produce fruit[11]. Hand pollination would probably help[11, 166], fruits are more likely to form in hot summers[166]. There is also some doubt as to whether the plants are monoecious or dioecious, it would be best to grow at least two distinct plants (not cuttings from one plant) and make sure that male and female flowers are present[K]. The flowers are sweetly and heavily scented. The males are produced on the previous years wood whilst females are produced on the current years wood[182]. Plants are fast growing[200] and climb by means of twining[182]. Closely related to H. coriacea[11]. This genus is closely related to Stauntonia spp[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - we have no details on this species but suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe if this is possible, otherwise as soon as you obtain it, in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of softwood[1]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in late summer or autumn[188]. Layering.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Holboellia angustifolia Climber0.0 7-10  LMHFSNM21 
Holboellia coriaceaSausage VineClimber7.0 8-11 FLMHFSNM20 
Holboellia grandiflora Climber0.0 8-11  LMHFSNM20 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

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Readers comment

J Gardner   Wed Oct 25 2006

I have had this plant growing for at least 5 years, roots in deep shade at the base of a pergola which is covered in honeysuckle, Emily Gray rose and an Armandii clematis. The plant flowers profusely and this year has set seed probably because of the very hot summer.(Isle of Wight). One seed pod has been sown now(October) in a griity mix and put into a heated propagator. Has anyone else had successful results from an Autumn sowing?

christine harrison   Tue Mar 6 2007

Two pinky purple fruits 10cms long 6cms diameter found when pruning well established plant on 27/02/07.Holboellia had grown rampantly on a wall in the Yard garden at Bicton College,East Devon.Seed to be sown. Very good information on this page best found searhing for Holboellia.

Yvonne Rann   Mon May 7 2007

I have two plants rampantly growing against south house wall. It was planted about 1988 -1990 by previous owner. No fruit so presumably no seed yet. Are fruits on male and female plants? Cream flowers so I presume female?? Heavenly scent for about a month during April. Trying some soft wood cuttings. May 2007

Mr D. P. Biggs   Tue Apr 28 2009

I find this immigrated plant a lethal killer during the pollen seasons. Within 10min the inhale of the strong scented pollen has tightened up the blood cells all through my brain and around my skull and lungs thus giving me immediate migraine. The level continues to rise causing a chemical inbalance in the brain of the serotonin etc thus triggering of a blackout. It should not be sold.

Simon Bosworth   Tue Aug 11 2009

You need several different plants (not cuttings of the same plant) to produce fruit. Only if pollenated from an unrelated flower will the fabulous fruit be produced. In my opinion it is the fruit that this should be grown for - they are a real talking point in my garden!!

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