Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Backyard Nature Wednesday: Coral Vine

Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus) is a native of Mexico that is widely cultivated in Texas gardens and throughout the Gulf South. It has striking, lacy pink or, in some cases, white or dark rose flowers. The vine that I grow in my yard is the traditional pink.

One of its several common names is "heavenly vine" and it certainly is that as far as bees are concerned. Honeybees, in particular, love the flowers and you can find them working those blossoms from early morning until late afternoon.  

This is a very vigorous vine that must have support from a sturdy trellis, fence, or even a tree. It has pretty, light green, heart-shaped leaves. It is not evergreen and the top growth of the plant will be killed by the first hard frost of the year, but well-established plants will come back from the roots in the spring.

Coral vines are easy to grow as long as they have good drainage and at least partial sun exposure. They are drought tolerant, thriving through a long, dry summer, but they only begin their major bloom display once the rains of late summer and early fall come.

These vines are easily propagated from seed, or large plants can be divided.

Coral vine is a valuable plant for Gulf South gardens, especially gardeners, like me, who like to do everything possible to encourage pollinators. The plant is a magnet for pollinators like bees, butterflies, and even migrating hummingbirds. And it provides beauty for the human psyche. A winner on both counts.    

4 comments:

  1. You're right. A winner! And love the vibrant color.

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    1. It certainly adds some welcome color to the fall garden.

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  2. Beautiful. When I did a quick search on it, I discovered it apparently also has edible seeds and tubers. But, I also found evidence that it is an invasive, at least in some areas of the United States. Too bad, but we have our share of pretty invasives in upstate New York, too. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. It does have potato-like tubers that are allegedly edible, though I haven't tried them. I have not had a problem with it being invasive in my yard, but if it were, I think it would be a pretty benevolent one.

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