Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Queen's Wreath (Petrea volubilis)

Queen's Wreath
Petrea volubilis
(PEE-tree-uh) (vol-OO-BIL-iss)
Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ay)

I saw this lovely tropical vine in Florida. It was quite large, probably 30 or 40 feet and it was covered with these blooms, which on close inspection are quite detailed. Hardy to Zone 10, and I guess that leaves out most of the United States, it can also be grown indoors. I think the NYBG has a specimen of it growing inside the Conservatory. It likes full sun and from what I have read it about it its bloom time is a spectacular show if a little short lived. It is a native of Central America and Mexico. It is also known as Tropical Wisteria and I could see where the comparison had been drawn. Since the leaves are abrasive when touched Sandpaper Vine is another common name.

The fact that I am still speaking of tropical plants here speaks volumes about our spring here in Connecticut. Cold days and even colder nights have added up to not many flowers. I did see some stuff starting to come out yesterday which due to the lack of wind was just slightly warmer. I guess a lot of things will be blooming at once.

Synonyms: Bluebird Vine,

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