Hanging by a fragile stalk from the terminal bud, the colourful bean pod like fruits of Decaisnea fargesii are an exotic shade of blue. The upright growth of this deciduous shrub bears these pods until desiccation of the stalk causes a plunge to the forest floor.
Cut open longitudinally the pod reveals rows of black seeds enveloped in clear mucus like jelly.
Naturally growing through mixed forest on mountainsides of Western China at around 1800m. In cultivation an organic soil is favoured when growing these plants. Collected in 1895 by a French missionary; Pere Farges, who was working in China and named in commemoration of Joseph Decaisne, a former Director of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Words and pictures by Tony Garn.