Antigonon leptopus, or Coral Vine, is a native of Mexico. It is a fast growing, evergreen vine, climbing with tendrils that will reach 40 feet (13 meters). Leaves are dark green heart-shaped to arrowhead-shaped to 5 inches (12 cm) long. It produces edible tubers. The plants are hardy in USDA zones 8-12. If grown in zone 7 there will be top die back and the roots must be heavily mulched.
Blooming Time: From midsummer to fall, the plant is adorned with small rose pink flowers to 1½ inch (3.5 cm) long.
Culture: Antigonon leptopus need full sun to light shade with intermediate to warm temperatures. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 1 part sand. The plants are allowed to dry slightly in between waterings. Fertilize weekly during the growing season. During the winter months, plants are watered only enough to keep the foliage from wilting or the tubers are stored at 40° F (~5° C). If the plants are grown inside or in the greenhouse, they should be cut back hard after flowering.
Propagation: Antigonon leptopus are propagated from cuttings or by seed. Seed should be sown in a well-drained soil mix and barely covered. They should germinate in 21-30 days at 65-70° F (19-21° C).
Antigonon leptopus was featured as Plant of the Week October 11-17, 2002.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.