Beautiful large shrub from South America which we have had varying degrees of success with growing outside in the UK. The woody stems produce formidable spikes with leathery leaves that are on prickly stalks, reaching around 30cm in length with 3 triangular leaflets up to 10cm long. The trunk tends to grow in a crooked fashion with dark furrowed bark. The scarlet red flowers are usually borne in groups of 2-3 in loose terminal racemes to 2 feet long from spring to summer, usually late summer in the UK.
Well worth trying in sheltered spots in milder parts of the UK (zone 9 and above gardens) and even if the main trunk does get cut back by an unusually cold winter it will usually shoot from the base by late May. Apply a thick mulch to protect the rootstock if a cold winter is forecast. Otherwise grow in a frost free greenhouse or conservatory for the colder months. Plant in well drained loam based soil or potting compost with full sun. Height up to 2m with a spread up to 1.5m.
Sent as a young plant in a 9cm pot. May be cut back for shipping. Sent as dormant plants in winter.