Strongylodon macrobotrys
Common Name: jade vine 
Type: Vine
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Philippines
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 30.00 to 50.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Blue green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Good Cut

Culture

Winter hardy to tropical and subtropical areas in USDA Zones 10-12. Thrives in hot and humid climates. Dislikes temperatures below 60 degrees F. Will not survive frost. Prefers organically rich, consistently moist, neutral to acidic soils in full sun, but sometimes appreciates part shade during the heat of the day. Best sited in a sheltered location protected from strong winds.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Strongylodon macrobotrys, commonly called jade vine, is a perennial woody vine of the pea family that typically grows to 30-50’ long. This vine is native to tropical rain forests in the Philippines where it will typically crawl up tall trees in search of sun. It is now close to extinction in the wild in large part due to deforestation which has destroyed much of its natural habitat, but the plant survives in cultivation in the Philippines and in numerous other nurseries/gardens in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the globe.

Tough, twisted stems (to 1” diameter) are clad with alternate trifoliate leaves. Elliptic to oblong leaflets (to 3-5” long) emerge pink-bronze, age to pale green, and finally mature to deep green.

Jade vine is particularly noted for the unique jade color of its claw-shaped flowers (to 3” long) which bloom in huge, showy, pendant, grape-like, clustered racemes drooping to 40” long. Each raceme has 75 or more flowers. Additional terms sometimes used to describe the unusual flower color of this vine include aquamarine, neon blue green or seagreen-turquoise. Flowers are papilionaceous, each resembling a butterfly with closed wings. Flowers typically bloom in spring to early summer. Flowers are followed by cylindrical pods (to 4-6” long).

Genus name comes from the Greek words strongylos meaning round and odous or odontos meaning tooth in reference to the rounded teeth of the calyx.

Specific epithet comes from macro meaning large and botrys meaning cluster of grapes in reference to the shape of the drooping inflorescence.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Train to a tall arch or pergola for best view of the flowers. Attractive in floral arrangements.