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Urechites lutea Wild Allamanda1

Edward F. Gilman 2

Introduction

Wild allamanda grows as a vine-like shrub when it is young (Fig. 1). Left to its own devices, it develops into a sprawling vine climbing over nearby shrubs, trees, and other structures. In this manner, it is not unlike the non-native allamanda. Yellow flowers about 2 ½ inches across are produced year-round on stem tips. Although the plant is not covered with flowers like the non-native allamanda, there are usually some flowers on the plant all year long.

Figure 1. Wild allamanda
Figure 1.  Wild allamanda

General Information

Scientific name: Urechites lutea
Pronunciation: yer-reck-KYE-teez LOO-tee-uh
Common name(s): wild allamanda
Family: Apocynaceae
Plant type: vine
USDA hardiness zones: 10B through 11 (Fig. 2)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year round

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

Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.

Description

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

Foliage

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: 2 to 4 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not showy

Flower

Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristic: year-round flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: unknown
Fruit length: unknown
Fruit cover: unknown
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: brown
Current year stem/twig thickness: medium

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; alkaline; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: moderate

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: aggressive, spreading plant
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Wild allamanda can be maintained as a shrub with periodic pruning to check its size. Cut the longest stems back inside the plant so new growth helps keep the shrub full. It makes a nice addition to the native landscape in tropical areas as a specimen, or it can be trained to grow onto an arbor or trellis. The vine will need periodic clipping to keep it from overtaking the trellis. A row of wild allamanda planted several feet apart can be maintained as a low hedge with regular clipping.

Although growth continues in the total shade, wild allamanda will flower best in full sun or partial shade. With tolerance to salty air and drought, it is nicely suited for sandy, coastal landscapes. Plant grow fine in alkaline soil.

Pests and Diseases

There appear to be few problems that limit the growth of wild allamanda.

Footnotes

1. This document is FPS-595, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS-595

Date: 10/25/2015

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