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Combretum fruticosum Orange Flame Vine

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Delicate orange flowers borne in the axil of the opposite; simple leaves put on a spectacular show in the early part of the warm summer months. The flowering period can be extended into the fall in some years. Good growing conditions in partial to full sun results in dense foliage growth with flowers borne on the tips of new growth. Shoots can extend several feet from the fence or other structure supporting the vine. Plan on this when locating the vine since regular clipping will remove the flowers.

Full Form - Combretum fruticosum: Orange Flame Vine
Figure 1. Full Form - Combretum fruticosum: Orange Flame Vine
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Flower - Combretum fruticosum: Orange Flame Vine
Figure 2. Flower - Combretum fruticosum: Orange Flame Vine
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Combretum fruticosum

Pronunciation: kom-BREE-tum froo-tick-KOE-sum

Common name(s): orange flame vine

Family: Combretaceae

Plant type: vine

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 9: year round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: trained as a standard; espalier

Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: depends upon supporting structure

Spread: 10 to 20 feet

Plant habit: spreading; round

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: fast

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: elliptic (oval)

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 4 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: orange

Flower characteristic: summer flowering; fall flowering


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: reddish

Current year stem/twig thickness: thin


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam; clay

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 36 to 60 inches


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Orange flame vine can also be grown as a loose shrub, becoming at least 10 to 15 feet wide and 6 to 8 feet tall. It can be planted 5 to 8 feet apart to form a solid mass within a couple of years after planting. It makes a good soil stabilizer for steep slopes.

Supply the plant with regular irrigation during dry weather to maintain good growth and flowering. Periodic fertilization during the year also helps keep the plant in flower. Other species exist including Combretum grandiflorum which has red flowers and reddish new growth.

Pests and Diseases

No major insect or disease problems are known to affect the plant at this time.

Publication #FPS138

Release Date:October 9, 2023

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

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About this Publication

This document is FPS138, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman