Mina Lobata (Spanish Flag)

 

Mina lobata among some other nutters.
Mina lobata among some other nutters. (Far left…the violet chap is Cleome by the way.)

Higgledy Flower School 2016. #13. Mina Lobata. (Spanish Flag)

Mina Lobata is a native of Mexico and is a fan of twining itself up and around over things, a half hardy annual climber….in fact it is in the Morning Glory family…despite not having the usual saucer shaped flowers. Instead its blooms cascade from a flaming, lava red…to Jaffa orange..fading to cream….SMASHING!

Val Bourne writing for The Telegraph back in October 2010 had this to say about our chum Mina Lobata:

“These flowers are even more of a bonus if they hark back to summer. Ipomoea lobata (sometimes known as Spanish flag), is a warm combination of flame-crimson, cream and yellow.

A tender twiner from Mexico, it carries its flowers on dark, wiry stems that branch out at a sharp angle from the main stem. It seems to tremble, even on the stillest day, and is always full of flower. All the flowers are on one side of the stem, rather like a flag.

This easily grown annual used to be known as Mina lobata and then Quamoclit lobata. However, it is now Ipomoea lobata, in the morning glory family, although it does not have the typical saucer flower of its close relations.

Lobata Wigwaw...all the rage in Bromley.
Lobata Wigwaw…all the rage in Bromley.

This plant is daintier, with racemes of roughly nine, upward-facing tubular flowers. The lower flowers open and mature to an egg-custard yellow and the long pale stamens protrude. The tightly formed upper buds are crimson-orange. This “sunset” mix brings the flowers to life.

It performs well in shade and I have four rusty, metal tripods in my vegetable garden that I have been struggling to use to full advantage. Sweet peas finish too early. Viticella clematis are too aggressive and topple. Ipomoea lobata is perfect, the crimson and banana tones enhanced by the tripods.”

Top Tips For Growing Mina Lobata From Seed.

*Don’t sow too early….certainly not before mid April.

*I sow just one or two seeds into a three inch square pot…though this year I shall be growing some Mina in my bucket garden….so in this case I will sow them straight into a bucket full of compost.

This is actually Ipomoea ‘Heavenly Blue’ just to confuse you…but Mina looks super similar.
Ipomoea lobata
A fine looking seedling grown by Miss Karen Wells.

*After your Mina germinates…I let mine stay fairly dry…it just keeps them that little bit warmer….cold is our enemy as far as Mina growing goes.

*There is NO RUSH to get these chaos planted outside…the end of May or even June is about right.

*I’ve always planted them in full sun…but good old Val assures us that part shade is fine too.

*These wonderful plants can grow up to 6 feet in the UK.

'ansome beast!
‘ansome beast!

I of course sell wonderful Mina Lobata seeds. 🙂

You may have noticed that I’m short of good Mina lobata photos…I’ll give a £20 voucher for the best pics taken in the 2016 season.

Have fun one and all.

Kind regards

Benjamin Higgledy.

Previous posts in this oh so riveting series:

*Ammi majus #12

*Tithonia #11

*Hesperis #10

*Calendula officinalis #9

*Larkspur #8

*Perennial Flowers #7

*Biennial Flowers #6

*Half Hardy Annual Flowers #5

*Hardy Annual Flowers #4

*What Flowers To Grow In The Cutting Garden #3

*Preparing Cut Flower Beds #2