617 Pyrostegia venustaCommon Names: Flame vine, flaming trumpet, golden shower, flaming trumpet Family: Bignoniaceae (bignonia Family)
Flame vine is a vigorous, fast-growing, evergreen woody vine that blooms in winter and spring with spectacular reddish-orange flowers. The compound leaves have two or three 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) oval leaflets and are arranged in pairs opposite each other on the stem. Often, the center leaflet is modified into a coiled, three-parted tendril. Flame vine branches profusely and climbs by clinging with its tendrils. The tubular flowers are about 3 in (7.6 cm) long and borne in clusters of 15-20 at the tips of branches. The corolla has five lobes which are bent backwards, and the long orange stamens and style extend beyond the tube. The flower clusters may hang down under the weight of their own beauty. Fruits are slender dry capsules about 1 ft (o.3 m) long.
Pyrostegia venusta, the flame vine is native to southern Brazil, northern Argentina and Paraguay.
CultureIn tropical and subtropical areas, flame vine is a fast and rampant grower. A single vine can be more than 80 ft (24.4 m) long and profusely branched. Flame vine tolerates acidic to alkaline soils. Prune severely after flowering to encourage branching and more flowers next time. Light: Does best in full sun; tolerates partial shade. Moisture: Somewhat drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 9 - 11. Since it blooms in winter, flame vine won't flower in areas that have freezes. Propagation: Propagate from semi-hard cuttings in summer.
This is the most popular vine in central and southern Florida for covering fences and walls. It blooms in late winter and spring with a spectacular display of brilliant orange flowers that attract the first returning hummingbirds and any that decided to remain through Florida's mild winter. Use flame vine to cover an arbor or trellis at the front gate.
Flame vine is one of the most spectacular flowering vines in cultivation. It is related to and quite similar to trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) and crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), two vines native to the SE US which also are popular with hummingbirds. If you live where you can grow all three, you and your hummers will have reddish-orange trumpet-shaped flowers practically all year long.
Without control, flame vine in tropical climates sometimes can be so aggressive that it can smother trees.
Steve Christman1/15/00; updated 1/9/04