Published: August 31, 2022


Branklyn Gardens in Perth, Scotland, is, in my opinion one of the nicest gardens I have ever visited. I could go every week and not tire of it as there would be something different and unusual to discover on every visit.

It was at Branklyn when I first spotted a beautiful Codonopsis. I was under the impression that it was indeed Vinciflora.

I have bought plants and grown them from seed for years. They germinate readily, I appreciate that they take a couple of years to form their tubers, but when I place them in the garden -they disappear, or once they have flowered, I find that I have, once again, acquired ‘the wrong ones'

The disappearing trick I would put down to my zealous pruning or slugs, but getting the wrong one, is either my ignorance or shear bad luck. I normally end up with the short smelly blue ones, or the climbing mucky yellow ones, either way they are not the ones that I desire.

Never the less, recently, I have discovered that one of the ‘mucky'yellow ones I grow and ignore, is indeed , and after consulting different web sites, I may look at it in a different light…..

They say, ‘Codonopsis pilosula is used to boost the immune system, promote mental sharpness and memory! Reduce stress, improve your tolerance to stress, reduce inflammation, reduce diabetic complications…..'
Well what a find….. not that I would be brave enough to use it, but promoting mental sharpness is tempting!

I now have Codonopsis ‘Grey Wilsonii'and Convolvulacea, both from 2011 seed, happily growing in my greenhouse.

Grown in pots and doing very well.

You can see from the photos that there are three different codonopsis growing together with a rather pretty unnamed clematis seedling.

Maggie Duguid

Text and photos by Maggie Duguid, who is a member of the HPS North East Group.