Ipomoea lobata
Common Name: Spanish flag 
Type: Vine
Family: Convolvulaceae
Native Range: Mexico
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 10.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to frost
Bloom Description: Gradient of red to pale yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies

Culture

Best grown in evenly moist, rich, well-draining soil in full sun. Tolerant of some shade, but will not produce as showy of a floral display. Start seeds indoors around six weeks before the average last frost date. Seeds are slow to germinate and require warm growing media (at least 70°F). Scarify the seeds and soak them overnight to speed up germination. Only plant outdoors once the threat of frost has completely past. Hardy in frost free Zones 10-11.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ipomoea lobata, commonly called Spanish flag vine or firecracker vine, is a herbaceous, perennial vine native to Mexico and parts of South America. Widely cultivated around the world as an ornamental. Mature vines can reach up to 16' tall and spread to fill a 2' area. The leaves will reach between 2-6" long and have three distinct lobes. Single-sided, 6" long racemes of tubular flowers are held on slender stems that gently arc upward and outward away from the vine. The flowers mature from red to pale yellow, creating a gradient from the top of the raceme to the base. Blooms freely from mid to late summer until frost. The flowers are highly attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Synonymous with Mina lobata.

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

The specific epithet lobata means "lobed" and refers to the deeply lobed foliage of this species.

The common name Spanish flag vine refers to the gradient of red to yellow flowers on each raceme. The common name firecracker vine also refers to the appearance of the blooms, which resemble colorful fireworks shooting away from the vine.

Problems

No major pest or disease problems of note.

Uses

Requires a trellis, arbor, or other structure to climb. Use as a vertical accent in sunny mixed borders or patio plantings. Plant several next to each other to create a quick privacy screen. Can be grown in a large container.