Cobaea scandens f. alba

A vigorous plant that will scale a wall with support and can grow up to 6m (20ft). It has fantastic, exotic, white flowers that look like a cup sitting on a saucer. More
20 seeds 050001 £2.95
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5 jumbo seedlings 510814-SP05 £8.95 Delivery early May
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10 jumbo seedlings 510814-SP10 £16.50 Delivery early May
When in stock, please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. 
More Details

This is one of my favourite plants growing in the white garden at Sissinghurst. There it covers arches over the path. Grown in a greenhouse, this will flower almost 12 months of the year.

Cobaea scandens are a fantastic, exotic looking plant. I've picked a bunch of these in December on a sheltered wall in Sussex. Use them floating in a shallow bowl or simply mixed with rosemary in a tumbler.

These are rampant climbers which will cover a wall in a trice – growing up to a second storey window if given a climbing frame. They are perfect for following sweet peas, as they flower long and hard from mid-summer to winter.

Genus Cobaea
Group/Species scandens
Variety Alba
Type Tender Perennial (grown as a Half-Hardy Annual Climber)
Common Name Cup and Saucer Vine, Cathedral Bells
Border Position Climber
Soil Type Fertile, Neutral
Scent Unscented
Site Full Sun, Shelter
Moisture Moist but Well-drained, Well-drained
Height 3m (9ft 8in)
Spacing 75cm (30in) apart at the base of a frame or wall.
Sowing, Seeds, Planting Sow under cover January-March and support on a mini frame as it grows, then train onto a tall frame or wired wall. Plant out after last frosts.
Flowering July - October (or until the first frosts)
Vase Life 5 days, can be floated with nightlights in a shallow bowl. Sear the stem ends in boiling water for 20 seconds to extend the vase life.
Harvesting Flowers will produce for 4 months, or almost 12 months of the year if grown in a greenhouse.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  • Sow Under Cover/Plant Indoors
  • Direct Sow/Plant Outdoors
  • Flowers/Harvest
Advice & Videos
Climbers | Why Sarah Loves These

Sarah shows us some of her favourite climbers from the trials at Perch Hill, which are used as both climbers and trailers.

The very best annual climbers

Sow these climbers in your garden in the spring, and you'll enjoy them well into the autumn.

Using lobster pots for climbers

Sarah trials growing climbers over lobster pots in a patch at Perch Hill.


Plant Delivery - When in stock, please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. 

Seeds Delivery - When in stock, please allow up to 14 working days for despatch.

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Cobaea scandens f. alba reviews

* * * * - Average based on 27 reviews

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Reviewed 19th September 2019 by Christine

Not many flowers but covered a good area of our pergola.

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Reviewed 20th August 2019 by Patricia

At long last they are flowering and it is worth it. Such a lot of top growth and just three flowers at the moment. I now know that they are late flowering and there will be more flowers. Just be patient.

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Reviewed 7th August 2019 by Elizabeth

Of the annual climbers I have planted this year, this has been the best reaching the top of the fence and flowering early once they had outstripped the early slug attacks. Large and prolific flowers.

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Reviewed 4th August 2019 by Gwen

Second year of purchase. Make a delightful display with purple variety. Abundant healthy growth.

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Reviewed 1st August 2019 by Jacqueline

Plants are fantastic and growing well.
Seeds came through as soon as they could get them in stock.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Pam

I could not be more disappointed. A friend & I both brought some and only one out of 20 grew and that was pathetic

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Janet

Lots of foliage and growing fast but no flowers yet.

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Alison

both about 15' high now looking forward to the flowers

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Karen

Came so late I havent bothered with planting this year!!!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Rodger

Good quality plants, well packaged and romping away!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Sarah

Only one has survived and not made great progress- the. Coverage minimal - sweet peas are bigger!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Hilary

Great quality and healthy young plants, now climbing vigorously up the walls!

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Mrs Growcott

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Ms Ingram

Half of them failed in first month

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Reviewed 31st July 2019 by Wendy

Great quality healthy plants

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Reviewed 15th October 2018 by Helen

Did not do as well as the purple ones last year but conditions were harsh we had virtually no rain all summer

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Reviewed 12th October 2018 by Vanessa

The plants arrived healthy and we potted them on for a short while before planting out, due to the weather. They have grown at an amazing pace - the vines are totally covering the area as intended. Not as many flowers as I hoped for but I think that is down to the location, which is a little shady for them. What flowers have appeared are beautiful and have lasted well. It is still growing and flowering now in mid October.

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Reviewed 3rd October 2018 by Norma

Unfortunately these did not survive the first few weeks of summer, the extreme heat I would have thought was the culprit.

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Reviewed 3rd October 2018 by Rowena

As above! excellent all round

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Reviewed 3rd October 2018 by Deanne

Comment as for purple,good plants,just flowering hoping they will over winter

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Reviewed 19th September 2018 by Elaine

A lovely late climber, with attractive foliagw, scrambling up a trellis or bean poles amongst the sweet peas. When the flowers come, they are beautiful. The white variety has outperformed the purple one, which, unfortunately hasn’t produced any flowers yet

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Reviewed 19th September 2018 by Christopher

tow of the plugs died very soon after arrival and they were very tricky to look after for the first 6 weeks. I have grown from seed before with similar results and expected your plants to do better

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Reviewed 19th September 2018 by Jennifer

The Cobaea plants did nothing.The crambes took a while to .establish and put out leaves but no flowers.So disappointed...

Reply from the Sarah Raven Team:

"Thank you for leaving your review. We are very sorry to hear of your disappointment with your Cobaea and have refunded you for them."

Posted 7th November 2018

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Reviewed 4th September 2018 by Marion

Unfortunately these plants were lose from their packaging on arrival. They were replaced by you but with the hot summer I do not feel that they have had a fair trial in my garden so will try again next year.

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Reviewed 29th August 2018 by Barbara

Did not grow well at all, planted the seedlings the correct position, but they hardly grew at all. Disappointed to say the least.

Reply from the Sarah Raven Team:

"Thank you for your review. We are very sorry to hear of your disappointment with your Cobaea seedlings and have left a credit on your account for you to use on your next telephone order."

Posted 7th November 2018


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Reviewed 6th April 2018 by Angie Hayward

Grew against a south facing dark fence, stunning. All seedlings thrived. Cut flowers from late summer through to January. Am ordering more for this year.

Cobaea scandens "Alba"

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Reviewed 4th March 2015 by Sian Griffiths

Grew from seed last year; planted in walled, s/w facing sheltered spot in Cambridgeshire. Very vigorous; fabulous and abundant flowers from August until January. Had a bunch of the lovely white bells for Christmas Day!