Useful information

Daurian moonseed: Amur ivy in front and in profile

Observations of garden plants give a lot of interesting things. Here, for example, the Daurian moonseed (Menispermum dahuricum) - by the way, he appeared in our garden in 2001. And he arrived from the regional center of Rodniki, Ivanovo region from the famous plant lover A.A. Saleeva.

Scientists of the book unanimously assert that this vine is dioecious. Of course, if you have one single specimen growing in your garden, there is no point in hoping for seeds. They simply have nowhere to appear: the male plant does not produce them, and the female plant cannot exist without the male. But it is clear that the Immaculate Conception is not at all a fantasy, not a fiction. It happens.

So you know

Daurian moonseed

Family moonseed (Menispermaceae) (about 70 genera and 450 species) - mostly tropical and subtropical. Plants penetrating into temperate latitudes in the family - one or two, and countless. In Europe, there are no moonseeds at all, and in Russia its only representative is just the hero of this plot, the Daurian moonseed, or Amur ivy.

In the genus moonseed (Menispermum) only two species, one in North America, the other in the Far East. Therefore, it seems strange that the family itself received the name of such a small representative. In ornamental gardening, the Asian species, as a more decorative species, is used much more often than its American "counterpart" canadian moonseed (Menispermum canadense).

The Daurian moonseed is a climbing semi-shrub vine. This means that its shoots are partly woody, and partly remain herbaceous. In practice, it all depends on their age. Annual shoots are still thin as a shoe lace, and are completely grassy. With age, the lianas thicken to a diameter of 10-15 mm, and the degree, that is, the height of their lignification, grows. In especially favorable winters, the shoots of the moonseed plant can survive up to 2 meters in height. As for the total height of the vine, it usually does not exceed 4 (5) m.

The most remarkable thing about the moonseed is its leaves. They are the size of linden trees, have relatively long (5-15 cm) petioles, whole-edged, with 3-5 vaguely pronounced lobes, and symmetrical about the longitudinal axis. Interestingly, all the leaves are about the same size, and their tops are directed strictly downward, thus forming a kind of tiled mosaic. And the leaves of the moonseed are very similar in shape and size to ivy leaves.

Daurian moonseedDaurian moonseed

Moonseeds bloom relatively late, around early June, and blooms for about three weeks. The flowers are whitish-green, small, dioecious, collected in small brushes. Fruits are spherical drupes with a diameter of about 10 mm, in small, asymmetrical clusters of 5-12 pieces, blueberry-black at full maturity. The seeds are relatively large, crescent-shaped, which was the reason to assign the name of the moonseed vine to the vine.

All parts of the moonseed are poisonous. Fruits are considered especially dangerous, if you eat them you can get severe poisoning. However, few people want to eat unpleasant-tasting berries.

At the same time, in small doses, the plant has a healing effect. In medicine, both the fruits and the roots of the moonseed are used. They have sedative and hypotensive effects. They are used for hypertension, headaches, increased nervous excitability, endarteritis. The Chinese have revealed an antitussive effect in the plant. The Japanese use moonseed to treat rheumatism.

Trying to cut, and what came of it

In fact, the moonseed plant grows very actively. Its horizontal stolon roots literally twist in all directions. In this, moonseed is similar to hops and lemongrass. In our garden, the liana crawled even under the trodden path. Having emerged on the other side, she spent a year or two looking for support and hardly grew. Then, having found her, she began to grow and formed a new center of tillering. The conclusion follows from this - the moonseed plant grows poorly without support.

Based on the property of the moonseed plant to form a lot of shoots (and in the absence of seeds), the main method of its reproduction is "coppice". But the shoots do not appear so soon in the vine, but I wanted to quickly establish its reproduction.

Tried green cuttings first. I pushed around with them for three years - no result. Then he did the same with wood cuttings - zero. The third attempt - I cut the same wood cuttings, but not in spring, but in autumn, and buried them in peat. In the spring I dug out - everything is safe and sound. Seated in a greenhouse, watching. At first everything went well, the cuttings were alive, their buds began to grow, the leaves were gradually blooming. On some of the cuttings, the process of callus formation began. But then, one by one, the cuttings began to rot and fall out. In the end, out of three hundred cuttings, only one was rooted. Conclusion - cuttings of a moonseed plant are unproductive.

If the mountain does not go to Mohammed

Winter 2013/2014 was unusually mild. Plants were expected to winter better than usual. And so it turned out, the moonseed has overwintered more successfully than ever. His lashes remained intact to a height of more than a meter, while usually only 20-50 cm remained. However, nothing new could be expected from this.

By this time, the moonseed had been growing in the garden for more than ten years and had become so boring with its appearance that I simply did not notice its flowering. And how to notice if the flowers are not only inconspicuous, but also carefully camouflaged in the thick of the crown. Well, there was no need to wait for the fruit from the vine (like from a goat of milk).

But things took a different turn. In early September, on my knees, I weeded the foot of the vine. And suddenly, from this unusual vantage point inside the crown, I saw black berries. - Can not be! He pushed the leaves apart - for sure! When I examined the whole liana, it turned out that there are quite a lot of fruits - a dozen and a half brushes. I soon collected them and, following the book recommendations, immediately sowed them. Seedlings, according to the same books, should appear in May. We wait!

What happened to the vine? How did she manage to set the fruit? I have no clue about this. Let's assume that the plant has heard my pleas.

Planting and leaving

Daurian moonseed

It would be wrong to say that the moonseed is finicky. But he has a character to consider. If you describe his preferences very briefly, then the planting site should be sunny, and the soil fertile and aerated enough.

That this is important, I was convinced from my own experience, because at first I chose the wrong place - on the north side of the gazebo. Liana grew poorly there, and I was almost sure that it should be so. But the spirit of research pushed me to try other options for location. Soon a place turned up in the open sun, with lighter soil, which I immediately took advantage of. And a miracle happened. The moonseed plant seemed to come to life from hibernation. In just three years, he developed many shoots, and I was finally able to see what he is capable of.

Landing site.The soil. Open sun or insignificant partial shade with the crown moving to the "sun". Close groundwater and the presence of a number of large trees oppress the liana.

When planting a single bush, a hole should be dug about 40 cm deep and about 50 cm in diameter.The soil mixture can be made on the basis of leafy earth, humus and sand 1: 1: 2.

Fertilizer.Watering. Fertilization for the moonseed is not only useful, but also desirable. But you cannot dig up the near-trunk circle. Therefore, mulching with gradual embedding remains as the main method of application. As mulch, you can use a variety of organic matter - ventilated peat, fluffy humus, various composts. You can add mulch throughout the season, as it is absorbed by the soil. When weeding, organics are shown to be "hidden" in deeper horizons, while trying not to disturb the roots of the vine.

In the first half of summer (from early May to mid-July), it is useful at least once (and preferably two) to carry out a liquid top dressing with a "classic" herbal infusion.To do this, take 2 densely packed buckets of nettle herb for a 200 liter barrel of water and leave for 2 weeks. The liana is watered with the resulting "mash", adhering to the dosage - one bucket per bush, or two buckets per running meter.

It is advisable to water the moonseed so often that the soil is constantly moderately moist. 3-4 days after watering, it is shown to loosen and immediately add a dose of mulch.

Amur instead of Carpathian

Ivy (Hedera) has long been of interest to gardeners. I'm not an exception. I tried five of his cultivars. Two of them, having overcome all adversity, have become an indestructible part of our collection. True, they grow in a completely different way than in the pictures from France and Spain. That is, they grow, but they do not form such chic green panels, because of which ivy is appreciated. He generally does not behave like a vine, but like a ground cover. Instead of "climbing on the wall" - it spreads. And if it does climb, then no more than a meter, and even then in separate lashes. In general, there is bark - and it is not.

The moonseed could be, if not a replacement, then a good imitation of ivy. With something, and with leaves, he is in no way inferior to him. For me personally, moonseed leaves are prettier. Objectively, it is so. Firstly, they are always fresh, their surface remains immaculately clean and smooth from spring to autumn yellowing. Secondly, the leaf mosaic that the moonseed plant forms is elegant and pleasing to the eye. The liana itself, although it tends to creep, is not at all aggressive. As for the ground part of the plant, then there are no complaints about it at all. In any case, the moonseed is more manageable than all grapes, including the maiden (parthenocissus), and even the kirkazon with a tree-nose. In addition, the presence of support "disciplines" the vine.

In general, the moonseed is a wonderful decorative leafy liana with a good perspective in landscaping. As for winter hardiness, rumors about its insufficiency are clearly exaggerated.

Columns. Give the moonseed support a columnar support, and he will turn it into a fairly flat column with a diameter of about half a meter. The height of such a column can vary between 2 and 3m. This is the simplest landscaping technique, but in the right hands it can look very grand. The task of the designer is to arrange them beautifully. Imagine, for example, a living colonnade in the spirit of Greek basilicas, only without a "roof", at the entrance to the hotel, at the monument, in the gardening of the church ...

Decoration of facades.Hedges. In both cases, the main difficulty is support. First of all, it must be mesh. And its height can vary from 2 to 3 m. For landscaping the walls, so that the liana "works" for its entire length, higher supports, up to 3.5 m, can also be allowed. It is not recommended to use a chain-link as support. It is better to make a net specially, with a much rarer square cage than that of a chain-link - from 10 × 10 cm to 20 × 20 cm.

Arches. Green arches are now becoming fashionable. And this trend is likely to last. Indeed, there is no more enticing element for decorating an entrance area than an arch. The arch as if invites you to go through it. No wonder they are now so popular with shopkeepers and small firms with a separate entrance. However, most often the arches are used independently, that is, without landscaping them. And it happens that they plant greenery with lifeless "plants". Needless to say, it can be beautiful too. And yet the arch, entwined with a real liana, is at least more natural.

What you need to know - the arched support should be openwork, that is, welded from more or less thin rods, since the liana climbs the tubular arches with difficulty and does not hold well on them. The optimum height of the arched opening is 2.5 m, maximum 3.0 m. A seedling is planted at each arched "leg". Heading towards, they will eventually completely hide the support itself.

Photo by the author

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