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National Council for The Conservation of Plants and Gardens


National Collection of the Genus Codonopsis and Allied Genera



Codonopsis Plants

Leptocodon gracilis (syn. Codonopsis gracilis)


Translates as graceful slim bells which sums up this small twining climber perfectly. Lovely slightly flared violet blue tubular flowers fading to white at the tips hang from a lime green calyx amongst tiny bright green leaves with dark outer edges. This species appears to be slightly tender and rather short lived unfortunately although it will self sow but it's best to collect seed and sow each year to ensure a succession of plants. The slightly foxy smell associated with the genus is at its most pungent with this one! Instead of a tuber there are fleshy roots which can be used for root cuttings.

The seed is black and quite large.


Nepal, Tibet and South West China at a lower altitude than most Codonopsis













 ©Mike Ireland

 ©Bob Armstrong