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Publication #FPS496

Pyrostegia venusta Flame Vine1

Edward F. Gilman2

Introduction

Also known as Pyrostegia ignea, flame vine grows rapidly. Climbing by tendrils, this vigorous evergreen vine makes a brilliant fall and winter display of reddish-orange, 3-inch-long tubular flowers borne in clusters of 15 to 20 (Fig. 1). Covering everything that can offer a good support, flame vine should be planted with caution because it has been known to cover, then strangle trees with its rampant growth. It has escaped cultivation in much of central Florida and is often seen in flower during the winter and spring, growing in trees. It can be found occasionally in the southern parts of hardiness zone 8b. Heavy or frequent pruning is needed to restrain it to trellises or arbors, but the brilliant flower display makes this extra work worth the effort. It is ideal for covering fences but will often produce most of the flowers and foliage at the top of the fence. Regularly heading back several of the stems can help develop some of the flowers and foliage on the lower and middle portions of the fence.

General Information

Figure 1. 

Flame vine


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Scientific name: Pyrostegia venusta
Pronunciation: pye-roe-STEEG-ee-uh ven-NUSS-tuh
Common name(s): flame vine
Family: Bignoniaceae
Plant type: vine
USDA hardiness zones: 9 through 11 (Fig. 2)
Planting month for zone 9: year round
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round
Origin: not native to North America
Figure 2. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


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Uses: espalier
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Description

Height: depends upon supporting structure
Spread: depends upon supporting structure
Plant habit: spreading
Plant density: dense
Growth rate: fast
Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: palmately compound
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: ovate
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: orange
Flower characteristic: winter flowering; fall flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: elongated
Fruit length: 6 to 12 inches
Fruit cover: dry or hard
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: usually with one stem/trunk
Current year stem/twig color: brown
Current year stem/twig thickness: thin

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: alkaline; clay; sand; acidic; loam
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: poor
Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: potentially invasive
Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Growing in full sun to partial shade, flame vine will tolerate a wide range of soils. Flame vine sometimes flowers lightly during the summer.

Propagation is by cuttings or layering.

Pests and Diseases

Scales, caterpillars, and mites can be a problem for flame vine.

Figure 3. 

Foliage of flame vine


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Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS496, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September 1999. Revised June 2007. Reviewed June 2011. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.