7 Antigonon leptopusCommon Names: Mexican creeper, coral vine, corallita, confederate vine Family: Polygonaceae (buckwheat Family)
This tender perennial vine can easily grow to 30-40 ft (9-12 m) in length and uses its tendrils to happily and rapidly climb up, over and upon any nearby object. Evergreen in frostfree areas, the coral vine has attractive green heart-shaped leaves that are 4 (10 cm). In summer the vine produces large branching flower stalks (racemes) upon which masses of small flowers are situated. The actual flowers are tiny but the sepals are larger and provide the brilliant colors that range from white to rose-pink to deep coral flowered varieties.
Coral vine, Antigonon leptopus, is native to Mexico and is grown as a landscape plant in mild winter regions of the United States.
CultureThis adaptable vine will grow in almost any soil. Light: Needs full sun for best bloom. Moisture: Likes moist well-drained soil but tolerates drought. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8 - 10. In Zone 8 the tops of this tropical plant are killed back by freezes but it rapidly recovers provided the roots are protected from freezing (mulch well). In Zone 8 flowering usually doesn't begin until fall. Propagation: Seeds or root half-ripe cuttings in the summer. Volunteer plants can be transplanted from established plantings.
Coral vine is used to cover fences or climb trellises with fresh green foliage and a splash of bright color. It is also used in urban plantings because it tolerates air pollution, restricted space, inadequate sunshine and poor soil. This vigorous vine also does well in greenhouses where it adds an airy grace and periodic color. Give it room! This rampant grower is best in large spaces and may need periodic and frequent grooming when grown in smaller places.
Coral vine is beautiful and easy to grow. It's rapid growth rate and thick luxuriant foliage make it a good candidate for screening unsightly views. The abundant and brilliantly beautiful flowers attacts hordes of butterflies.
The vine's tuberous roots are said to be edible and are eaten in some regions of Mexico, its natural range.
Coral vine is list as a Category II invasive species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council which means: " Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species. These species may become ranked Category I, if ecological damage is demonstrated."
Steve Christman 7/14/97; updated 10/21/04