526 Pseudogynoxys chenopodioidesCommon Names: Mexican Flame Vine Family: Asteraceae (aster/daisy Family)
Mexican flame vine is a woody tropical vine with the enchanting summertime habit of covering itself in brilliant daisy-like flowers. The bright orange blossoms are about 1 in (2.5 cm) in diameter and are borne in small clusters. As they age the flowers change from orange to almost red. They are followed by fruiting structures that resemble smaller versions of the dandelion's puffy seed heads. This vine has thick evergreen leaves that are shaped like arrowheads and serrated on the edges. They are arranged alternately on the vine and are deep green in color providing a handsome background for the fiery orange flowers.
A synonym (out of date scientific name) for this plant is Senecio confusus which translates as "confused old man" referring, I suspect, to this vine's rampant habit of growth. If not provided support, Mexican flame vine grows this way and that in a confusion of stems that piles up to eventually form a sprawling shrub.
As its common name indicates, Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides is native to Mexico.
CultureMexican flame vine is not particular about soil. Light: Bright sun or light shade. Moisture: Water until established, then it becomes drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. This tropical vine is killed to the ground by frost, but even in Zone 8 gardens it will quickly recover. Propagation:
Use Mexican flame vine to drape over porch rails and mailboxes. It's expert at improving the visual charm of chain link fences. Use in mixed hedges to create splashes of summertime color. It also looks great clambering up palm or pine tree trunks.
Unlike many other vines, the Mexican flame vine tends to be rather compact. It is usually less than 10 ft (3.1 m) in height and does not outgrow small gardens and yards. It is a great plant for beginners being drought resistant and seldom bothered by pests. Best of all, even minimum care is rewarded with impressive floral displays!
Jack Scheper 12/13/98; updated 11/29/03, 2/7/08