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A vigorous, deciduous twining climber, its shoots growing as much as 20 ft in one season, ultimately 40 ft or more high; stems slender, glabrous, grey. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate, heart-shaped or spear-shaped at the base, pointed or rounded at the apex, 11⁄2 to 4 in. long, 1 to 21⁄2 in. wide, glabrous, pale green. Panicles produced in summer and autumn in such abundance as to envelop the plant in a cloud of blossom; they are terminal on lateral shoots, much branched, 8 to 16 in. long. Flowers pale pink or almost white, each 1⁄3 in. across, with transparent ovate sepals in two whorls, the three in the outer whorl winged at the back, the wing passing downwards to the flower-stalk. As these wings persist on the pinkish young seed-vessel, they give it the characteristic three-angled shape. Bot. Mag., t. 7544.
Native of Russia in S. Tadzhikstan; discovered by Dr A. Regel in what was then the Khanate of Baldzhuan, and described by his father in 1883. It has also been found in Afghanistan and W. Pakistan. It was introduced around 1894 by way of the St Petersburg Botanic Garden. It is a beautiful climber, and its value is enhanced by the late date of its blossoming and the beauty of its young fruits. The best way to cultivate it is to give up to it some worn-out tree which it may be allowed to ramble over or envelop at will. Failing that, a stout spruce pole with the side branches left several feet long, or some such support, may be given it. Few climbers give so charming an effect in so short a time. It likes a rich loamy soil and a fully exposed position. Seeds rarely or never set with us, and the plant is best propagated by cuttings. These should be made in summer of pieces of the current year’s growth, with a heel of older wood attached, and placed in gentle heat. Cuttings of leafless wood, made in February with a heel, will also take root.
Many authorities consider that the group to which this species (and P. aubertii) belong should rank as a distinct genus. For this the name used until recently was Bilderaykia, but it is now accepted that an earlier name for it is Fallopia Adanson as emended by Holub, who transferred P. baldschuanicum and P. aubertii in 1971. There is no obligation to accept this split, but the name Fallopia has already made its appearance in horticultural literature. The name commemorates Gabriel Fallopius (Gabriello Fallopio), the Italian anatomist (d. 1562).
Bilderdykia aubertii (L. Henry) Moldenke