Pandorea jasminoides

Bower of Beauty

Family: Bignoniaceae

Pandorea jasminoides is a vigorous and twining woody climber, growing to potentially 10s of metres long with copious foliage. 

It is thought to grow north of the Hastings River (Port Macquarie) in New South Wales (although there are some records further south), right up to the border in coastal areas. It grows disjunctly along the coast in Queensland, to Cairns. 

It is typically found in rainforest – subtropical, littoral and dry, on enriched soils. 

Pandorea spp. have compound and opposite leaves, with leaves having one level of leaflet division and an odd number of leaflets with one terminal leaflet (a compound leaf called imparipinnate). In this species, leaves are to 20 cm long with up to 9 leaflets; each leaflet to 6 cm long and 3 cm wide, lanceolate to ovate, and dark to mid-green in colour.

Pandorea have tubular flowers produced in thryses or racemes, at the terminals or upper leaf axils. In this species, flowers are white or pale pink, trumpet-shaped with a red throat, up to six centimetres long and carried in clusters from spring to summer.

Pandorea have fruits looking very much like a pods but they are capsules. In this species – they are oblong to ovoid, to 6 cm long and 2 cm wide with a prominent beak. The seeds are winged, to 3 cm long. 

In the garden

A hardy vine in coastal environments. It grows robustly in the right spot. Often used to cover cyclone-fences and other structures such as pergolas in many areas. Pruning is required to keep plants in check. Very useful for creating privacy and attracting insects such as butterflies to a garden.

Will tolerate a range of soils provided the drainage is correct. Give some enrichment on sandy soils. Will tolerate full sun to part shade. 

Very hardy once established. 

Author’s notes:

We have P. jasminoides growing against the north-facing wall of a shed and on the supports of our patio roof in our cold-climate garden near Armidale. Although the species comes from the warmer areas of Queensland and northern NSW, our vines survive, thrive and bloom bounteously in our cold climate garden.

Please note: Pandoreas develop a strong and penetrating root system and should not be planted near underground pipelines.


Propagate from fresh seed as well as stems cuttings.

Other information

There are a number of cultivars including ‘Lady Di’ with snowy white flowers and yellow throats and ‘Southern Belle’ with dark pink flowers. ‘Charisma’ has variegated foliage. 

Pandorea is a genus of 6 species with 4 species in Australia, 3 of which are endemic. They are related to the well-known exotic tree Jacaranda which have larger but similarly structured flowers. NSW currently has 4 species. 

This species is likely not overly prone to bushfire but can likely regenerate from the seed bank and reshooting root-stem systems. 

Pandorea referring to the Greek Mythological character Pandora who opened an artefact which released bad things upon humanity. The reference is for the fruits of these plants which open to release many seeds. 

jasminoides – resembling the Jasminum (Jasmine) genus.

Australian National Herbarium – Pandorea jasmnoides profile page https://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/interns-2014/pandorea-jasminoides.html 

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Pandorea jasmnoides profile page https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Pandorea~jasminoides

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke.