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Blue Sausage - Dead Man's Fingers - Fruit Seeds - Decaisnea fargesii - Used as Halloween Decoration - Hardy to Zones 6 - 10

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0.10 LBS
Calculated at checkout

Product Description

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    5   Seeds      - Pkt. Size
  25   Seeds  
  50   Seeds   
100   Seeds   


Dead Man's Fingers, Blue Sausage Fruit, Decaisnea fargesii, Seeds


  1. Cultivation and uses

    Decaisnea is grown as an ornamental plant for its bold foliage and decorative fruit, bright blue in many cultivated plants, which are sometimes nicknamed "dead man's fingers". Most plants in cultivation derive from Chinese seed and are commonly grown under the name D. fargesii.

    Decaisnea belongs to the chocolate vine family. Its range covers the Himalayas to western China. The plants are deciduous shrubs and noted for their showy ornamental edible fruit. It is not very hard to grow in cooler temperate climates, in a fertile, well-drained soil. They are quite frost hardy, able to tolerate temperatures down to at least -15°C (5°F). USDA Zones 6-10

    Hardy, Easy to Grow, Fast Growth, Showy Ornamental Fruit, Fall Color, Edible Fruits, Attracts Birds, Wildlife Food/Shelter

    Decaisnea fargesii or Dead Man's Fingers is an upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub and noted for its showy ornamental edible fruit. Decaisnea belongs to the chocolate vine family and is native from the Himalayas to western China. This shrub typically grows to 20' tall and as wide. The leaves are bright green odd-pinnate, which can be as long as 3 feet, emerging in mid-spring. The flowers are up to 2 inch, bright green-yellow, petal-less, blooming on pendent panicles, up to 18 inches long. Although individual flowers are not particularly showy, the large racemes in bloom are interesting and attractive. Flowers give way to the piece de resistance: cylindrical, bean like seed pods up to 6" long that ripen to dull metallic blue in fall. It is these fruits (actually fleshy follicles) that distinguish this plant. The common names of Dead Man's Fingers, Blue sausage fruit, Blue cucumber shrub and Blue bean tree all convey the general message that the fruits are quite interesting and unique. Fruits will split open at maturity to reveal a large mass of seeds imbedded in edible pulp with a sweet taste, but rather insipid. Lepchas (aboriginal inhabitants of Sikkim) relish this fruit, but it is not eaten much outside its native geographic range. Dead Man's Fingers is a surprisingly apt description of what the over-ripe fruit looks, and dare we say, feels like. This is a beautiful plant in its own right, but it really shines as an annual source of excellent Halloween decorations.

    This species was discovered by Pere Paul Guillaume Farges (1844-1912) who lived in China and collected and recorded plants there from 1867 until his death. Decaisnea was originally considered to have only two species, D. insignis and D. fargesii, with the only difference between the two being that the former had yellow green fruit and the latter had blue fruit. Today, some experts continue to list two different species (see Royal Horticultural Society), but others have combined both species into D. insignis (see Flora of China).

    Other Names: Blue Sausage Fruit Tree, Blue bean Tree, Dead Man’s Fingers, Decaisnea insignis, Blue cucumber shrub
    Zone: Winter hardy to USDA Zone 6-9, but may be grown further north into USDA Zone 5 where it may die to the ground in winter with roots surviving to produce new growth in spring.
    Growth rate: Fast
    Plant Type: Deciduous shrub or small tree
    Family: Lardizabalaceae
    Native Range: Western China
    Height: 12 to 20 feet
    Spread: 12 to 20 feet
    Shape: Upright, multi-stemmed
    Bloom Time: May - June  
    Bloom Color: Yellow-green
    Flower/Fruit: Yellow-green flowers in drooping racemes followed by exceptional metallic blue bean-like fruit pods.
    Sun: Full sun to part shade
    Fall Color: Yellow
    Drought tolerance: Low
    Water: Medium
    Maintenance: Medium
    Site Requirements /Soil Tolerances: This shrub is not very hard to grow in cooler temperate climates, in a fertile, well-drained soil and it is quite frost hardy. It is intolerant of drought and hot summer climates. Keep soils consistently moist.
    Culture: Best protected from cold winds.

    Uses: Best in shrub borders or woodland gardens. Excellent Halloween decorations.



    Sowing Decaisnea fargesii, Seeds:
    Scarification, cold stratification, and moisture enhance germination.
    Scarify: Soak in water for 24 hours
    Stratify: Cold 90 days, 40 Degrees F
    Germination: Sow 3/8” Deep




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