Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Periploca graeca L.

Frost hardy, twining, deciduous climber with glossy ovate leaves, to 10cm long, and long-stalked corymbs of up to 12 star-shaped, unpleasantly scented flowers, to 2.5cm across, greenish-yellow outside, and purplish inside, in summer, followed by slender seed pods, to 12cm long, which release silky-tufted seeds.  To 9m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A handsome climber, which under favourable circumstances will extend its branches from thirty to forty feet; and was once in great request for covering trellis work, arbours, etc. but is now more generally planted against a pole or the trunk of a tree. […] The flowers, though chiefly of a sordid purple colour, yet being margined with green, are by no means void of beauty, and are interesting to the botanist from their curious structure.’  [BM t.2289/1822]. 

‘It grows freely, and if supported will get up to ten or twelve feet high, running round any tree or support: the leaves are ornamental as well as the flowers, which are curiously formed.  [LBC no.1389/1829]. 

‘It is said to be a native of the South of France, and of Greece, where it overruns the hedges with its long rambling shoots, thinly covered with dark green leaves.  The purple hairy blossoms are both singular and beautiful; and are produced in profusion whenever the plants have been sufficiently protected from the winter.’  [BR f.803/1824].  One of the oldest climbing plants of English gardens, cultivated since at least 1597.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.740/1857].


Published Feb 24, 2010 - 09:09 AM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 02:53 PM

Figured are glossy ovate leaves and corymbs of green and purple star-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2289, 1822.

Periploca graeca L. | BM t.2289/1822 | BHL

Family Asclepiadaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe to southern Asia

Common Name

Silk vine

Name in the Camden Park Record

Periploca graeca 

Confidence level high