The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Tropaeolum tricolorum is a Perennial Climber up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
S. America - Chile, Bolivia.
Requires a lime-free soil in a warm sunny position[
]. Prefers a turfy loam or a sandy peaty soil[
]. Requires a fairly dry summer after a moist winter and spring[
]. This is one of the easiest members of the genus to cultivate and usually produces new tubers quite freely[
This species is not very hardy when grown outdoors in Britain. The top growth will survive light frosts, whilst the tubers, if well mulched, will survive to at least -5°c[
]. New tubers are not formed until late in the season (from September), so a mild autumn is required for good yields[
]. The tubers are formed very near the surface of the soil[
] and will require mulching to protect them from the cold if they are to be left in the ground during the winter[
]. The tubers can also be stored in a cool dry frost-free place over the winter and then planted out in April[
]. This species comes from a dry Mediterranean-type climate and commences growth in early autumn, growing through the winter then flowering in early summer before having a short dormancy in late summer[
]. Consequently, it is only going to succeed outdoors in the very mildest parts of the country and is generally best grown in a cold greenhouse[
The plant comes from an area with intermittent and unreliable rainfall. It is therefore adapted to remaining dormant for a number of years if the growing conditions are unsuitable and this habit sometimes manifests itself in cultivation, especially if the plants have been potted up recently[
A plant at Rosewarne Gardens in North Devon was about 2 metres tall and flowering profusely in late April 1995[
A climbing plant, it supports itself by twisting its leaf stalks around other plants etc[
The caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly can be a nuisance and often cause considerable damage to the leaves[
Tuber - cooked[
]. The round tubers are up to 6cm in diameter[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seed of cultivated plants is usually quite difficult to germinate, though wild-collected seed usually germinates freely[
Division of the tubers in the autumn or spring. In cold winter areas the tubers can be harvested in the autumn after top-growth has died down and they can then be stored in a cool frost-free position until planting them out in the spring.
Cuttings of basal stems in the spring[
]. Pot them up into individual pots and place them in light shade in a frame until they are established. Plant out in early summer.