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JmnolderJmnolder Posts: 5
Hi. I am trying to identify this vine with a purple flower that grows in the desert in southwest United States


  • JmnolderJmnolder Posts: 5
  • JmnolderJmnolder Posts: 5
    It’s similar but not exact. Maybe there are some different varieties. Thank you for your response. 
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,591
    There seem to be 2 plants almost identical.
    I believe you need to know if they are scented or not.
    One is invasive the other not.

    1.  Cochliasanthus caracalla.....common name corkscrew vine.

    Quote wiki....."Cochliasanthus caracalla, has highly fragrant,multicolored, corkscrew or spiral shaped flowers and is not an invasive plant.

    the flowers are white with purple streaks that fade to cream and then to yellow with age. They hang in twelve-inch long clusters.[The flowers are extremely wavy and immature blossoms very much resemble multicolored spirals or corkscrews. This plant grows white buds that produce nectar, which attracts ants, who then pollinate the flowers. The fragrance has been likened to Chinese wisteria, Jasmine, and Magnolia. It is claimed that the plant can be smelled from 15 feet away."



    2.  Phaseolus giganteus.....common name snail vine.,&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjZwOenl7faAhWqIcAKHXRkCeAQ_AUICigB&biw=1920&bih=943

    Quote wiki...."Phaseolus giganteus, has non-fragrant flowers that are a solid, pale purple. The flowers, which grow alone or in small groups rather than in clusters, consist of four petals: one large wavy half-circle on the top, two tear-drop shaped petals that point inwards, and a thin, erect, curly petal sprouting from the center of the flower. Depending on the angle, the two bottom petals can appear to be a single petal that strongly resembles the large, upper petal. When this happens, the three main petals come together to form an open-clam shape. The center of the flower and the end of the thin, erect may have a small area of yellow and/or white but the color is usually faint and only noticeable upon close examination.

    This invasive vine has taken over a fence and is now spreading across the ground.

    Immature flower buds often form fat half-crescents but, unlike the corkscrew vine, these buds are green, yellow, or brown. This plant might be more susceptible to aphids but is definitely invasive and has been compared by multiple growers to kudzu. Rapid growth combined with the ability of vines touching the ground to take root make this an invasive plant.This plant has been known to regrow even after all foliage visible above ground has died from frost."

    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • JmnolderJmnolder Posts: 5
    It is indeed the purple snail vine! Thank you very much. 👏
  • Regarding the Vigna caracalla (corkscrew vine), can it be grown and bloom in an indoor atrium (not glass; partial light roof that opens and closes)? Would it need ants to pollinate in order to bloom (a scary thought!)? I am concerned about setting it outdoors in my English flower garden as it might get out of hand and take over, or I cannot catch all of the seeds and it self-sows all over the place! Help?
  • Unfortunately I can’t help. Mine turned out to be the VERY invasive snail vine. I do not recommend this plant at all. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,966
    sleighty - if you start a new thread for your query, someone will possibly help you. 
    People may not see it under this thread title  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,262
    Sleighty. Flowers will form without a pollinator. If there is no pollinator, it will not form seeds, and so cannot spread.
  • @sleighty - the snail vine grows in South America and grows in USDA zones 9 t0 11. Most of the UK is USDA  zones 7 to 9. Only coastal areas are warm enough for it to have any chance of surviving outside, so unless you live somewhere that never experiences any frost, any seedlings would be killed over winter. You would need to bring the plant inside if you wanted to keep it from year to year.
    One site I saw suggested growing it in a hanging basket, but you would have to keep it trimmed as it can grow to 15 ft. Living where I do I would be surprised if it made 15 inches!
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