Ipomoea quamoclit
Common Name: cypress vine
Type: Vine
Family: Convolvulaceae
Native Range: Tropical Americas
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 6.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to October
Bloom Description: Scarlet red
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Dry Soil, Wet Soil

Culture

This tropical vine is an annual. It is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate some dry conditions, but grows best with consistently moist soils. This vine is thin-stemmed and somewhat fragile, and it needs a support structure upon which to grow. It is easily grown from seed. Start seed indoors about 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date or plant directly in the ground at last frost date. In many areas of the U.S. (particularly in USDA Zones 6-10), it will remain in the garden, spread to other areas and naturalize from year to year by self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ipomoea quamoclit, commonly called cypress vine, is native to tropical America. It is a warm weather annual twining vine of the morning glory family that is ornamentally grown for its attractive scarlet flowers and fern-like foliage. It typically will grow 6-10’ long, but infrequently to as much as 20’ long. Each green leaf (2-4” long) is pinnately divided into threadlike segments, giving the foliage a ferny appearance. Scarlet red flowers (to 3/4” across) bloom in small cymes from early summer into fall. Each tubular flower is star-shaped, flaring open at the mouth into five pointed lobes. Flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Cypress vine has naturalized in many areas of the U.S., particularly in the deep South, ranging from Florida to Texas north to Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and New York. It is not considered too aggressive, however, and does not seem to crowd out native plants. It is also commonly called cardinal climber, star glory and indian pink. Synonymous with and formerly know as Quamoclit pennata.

Genus name comes from the Greek words ips meaning worm and homoios meaning resembling, in probable reference to the sprawling underground roots of genus plants. On the other hand, some experts suggest the genus name is in reference to the worm-like twining plant habit.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Provides attractive ornamental cover for arbors, fences, decks, trellises or other structures around the home.