Codonopsis pilosula –

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Codonopsis –

There are about 30 species of scandent or twinning, mostly herbaceous perennial, in this genus. They occur in rocky mountain slopes or in alpine scrub from the Himalayas to Japan. They produce simple, opposite or alternate, ovate or oblong to lance shaped, and often unpleasantly scented when crushed. The flowers are usually solitary, terminal or axillary, pendent, and bell or saucer shaped, sometimes intricately marked inside. Grow smaller species in a rock garden, larger species in a herbaceous border or woodland garden, and scandent and twinning species through small shrubs.

Grow in light, fertile, humus rich, moist but well drained soil in sun or partial shade,, with shelter from strong winds to protect the slender, brittle shoots. Most species need support.

Prone to slugs and snails.

C. pilosula – This scandent, herbaceous, cool weather perennial from Asia grows 10′ feet tall and 6-8″ wide. It produces large palmate leaves to 3″ long. It bears pendent, bell shaped flowers are greenish white, often flushed mauve, with prominent stamens. Vines can become invasive, training on a trellis or wall is recommended. Flowers in late summer give off a skunky smell. Roots are used in Chinese medicine.

Zones 4-9