Sinofranchetia chinensis
Common Name: sinofranchetia 
Type: Vine
Family: Lardizabalaceae
Native Range: Central and western China
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Best in moderately fertile, humus-rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best sited in sheltered locations protected from strong winds. Plants appreciate some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Established plants have some resistance to drought. Propagate by seed or cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sinofranchetia chinensis, commonly called Chinese sinofranchetia, is a fast growing, woody, deciduous, twining shrub or vine that grows to 30-50’. It is native to forested areas in central and western China. In the wild, it typically sprawls over and through shrubs and climbs up trees.

Purple-spotted twining stems are clad with long-stalked 3-palmate leaves. The central leaflet (4-5” long) is rhomboid-obovate and larger than the two oval lateral leaflets. Leaflets are dark green above and gray-green below with a papery texture. Small white flowers (to 1/4” across) bloom in pendant racemes (to 8-12” long) in May-July. Flowers are unisexual (males have 6 stamens and females have 3 pistils). Female flowers are followed by ellipsoid, deep lilac to lavender purple, grape-like fruits (to 3/4” across) which ripen in early fall. Female flowers may produce fruit if not pollinated.

This plant was originally named Parvatia chinensis in 1894 but was subsequently renamed Sinofranchetia chinensis in 1907.

Genus name comes from sino meaning Chinese and franchetia which honors French botanist Adrien Rene Franchet (1834-1900) who devoted extensive time to describing the flora of China from plants collected in China by French missionaries who brought them back to France.

Specific epithet means from China.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Attractive garden plant for trellises, arbors or against walls. Sprawl over large shrubs.