Marilyn Gardner Woods
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
My Texas story-telling friend Chris sent pictures this week of snow—two inches—fallen across her acreage and her birdhouses. Unusual for the hill country in Texas. “It’s about a twenty-year spectacle here. It’s that rare,” she drawled.
It’s not rare, in fact very reliable, that at my house each winter, if we can call it that here in Southern California, a show-stopping display fans out across my front fence.
The blooms burst forth—enormous, enticing, and enchanting cupped trumpet flowers—golden yellow like so many of Cezanne’s tempting fruits.
This perennial beauty is best known as the Golden Chalice Vine.
Also called Cup of Gold (Copa de Oro), Hawaiian Lily, or by its scientific name, Solandra grandiflora.
Very easy to grow and care for, at least in my neck of the woods. I think you can grow it in a pot too. It is poisonous, so take care with little children and pets.
The Golden Chalice vine is variously referred to as “the opposite of subtle,” or having “major attitude.” This legendary garden superstar totally owns these comments. With ginormous six-to-nine-inch flowers, the appeal is outrageous. Not unusual to see adoring fans on my sidewalk stunned by their display.
The five lobes of the corolla (petals) are reflexed, and each lobe is marked with aubergine, magenta and purple spiraling stripes on the inside. The flowers deepen in color to more golden as they age and also get more fragrant, especially at night. Hints of banana, or is it coconut, or maybe vanilla? Whichever, you aren’t likely to forget the scent of the Golden Chalice Vine’s flowers. Hard to believe it’s a relative of tobacco, tomatoes, and potatoes.
The entire seventy-five feet of my front and side fence is a breath-taking display of yellowy billowy poofs. Makes me think of the fanciful ballgown worn by the most charming princess Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
My fence dancers stand out brilliantly in a sea of glossy green leaves which shine like emeralds, as if waiting for applause.
Worthy of a standing ovation.
I would love to see your fence dancers!
I'm enjoying all your blog posts. Well done, my friend!
Be safe; stay well. Love,
Thank you for this bit of color today! J.Wells
Your beautiful flowers So pretty. Do you get many humming birds. If that were in Houston there would be so many and it would be so much fun to watch every day. JP
Hi ...I am here to enjoy your Texas snow!! Beautiful as it floated down and landed quietly, only to visit for a short time.... Love in the wintertime and all its glory! LNP