Florida's Vines

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On this page - Corky-stem Passion Vine, Passion Flower Vine, Spurred butterfly-pea, Bay bean, Downy milkpea, Elliott's Milkpea, Hairy Pod Cowpea Vine, Cheese plant

Corky-stem Passion Vine - Passiflora suberosa

Corky-stem Passionvine flower (Passiflora suberosa) Corky-stem Passionvine (Passiflora suberosa) Corky-stem Passionvine fruit (Passiflora suberosa)

Family - Passifloraceae

The Corky-stem Passionvine is a Florida native vine named for the older stems that have a thick "corky" look to them. A low growing, climbing vine with stems 2 or more feet in length. Prefers shady locations but will grow in full sun, often spreading to create large patches.

This passion-vine can be found growing from inland Pineland forests to the Hammocks and shell middens near the coast on rich to nutrient poor sandy soils with a moderate amount of moisture.

Leaves are widely variable in shape, may have entire or lobed margins and are 1 1/2 to 4 inches long with conspicuous glands on the petioles or leaf stems . Flowers are somewhat showy but are small and are a pale greenish to yellowish in color. Fruit is a green, dime sized and many seeded berry, turning bluish-black at maturity. Birds love the fruit and Butterflies including the Florida state Butterfly, the Zebra Longwing use this vine as a larval host plant.

Passion Flower Vine - Passiflora incarnata

Maypop vine flower Maypop vine leaves Maypop vine fruit (Passion fruit)

Family - Passifloraceae

Habitat - Sunny areas on moist, well drained sandy soils. Disturbed sites.

Description - Native perennial vine climbing up to about 10 feet by tendrils, dies to the ground in winter, sending up sprouts from the roots the following spring. One of several Passiflora Spp. which are native to Florida. Leaves are alternate, palmately lobed with 3 and occasionally 5 lobes, leaf margins are serrate. Fruit is a berry, shaped like & about the size of an egg, containing many seeds. Nectar & larval host plant for butterflies including the Gulf fritillary & Zebra longwing, Florida's state butterfly.

Flower - Showy, intricate pale lavender flowers 2-3 inches in diameter are produced from spring though summer.

Spurred butterfly-pea- Centrosema virginianum

Spurred butterfly-pea (Centrosema virginianum (L.) Benth) Spurred butterfly-pea detail

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Open areas of Hammocks, Wet Pinelands, Margins of Wet Prairies on moist sandy soils.

Description - Climbing, twining vine, grows to 6 feet or more in length, trifoliate leaves with lanceolate leaflets. The 1 inch or slightly larger flowers vary in color from lavender to white. Blooms from spring through fall. Fruit is a flattened pod.

Bay bean - Canavalia rosea

Seaside bean flower Seaside bean leaf close-up

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Coastal strand, Dunes

Description - Native sprawling or climbing herbaceous vine. Leaves are compound with 3 rounded leaflets, 3-4 inches long.

Flower - Purplish to pinkish-rose colored typical pea-like flowers on long, erect spikes, fruit is a flat pod 4 to 6 inches long. Flowers throughout the year.

Downy Milkpea (Galactia volubilis (L.)Britton) Downy Milkpea flower (Galactia volubilis (L.)Britton)

Downy milkpea - Galactia volubilis

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Pinelands, Upland Forests, Scrub

Description - Native perennial twining vine, tri-foliate elliptic leaves usually having a notched or indented apex.

Flower - Pea-like, purple, fading to a pinkish color before dropping.

Elliott's Milkpea - Galactia elliottii

Elliott's Milkpea (Galactia elliottii Nutt)

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Dry pine flatwoods, Sand scrub, Xeric Hammock

Description - Native. Perennial trailing or twining vine. Leaf compound with 7-9 elliptic, pubescent leaflets.

Flower - White, on long racemes bearing 4-5 flowers

Yellow Vigna - Vigna luteola

Image - Cowpea, Yellow Vigna (Vigna luteola)

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Tidal flats, Thickets, Tidal Marshes, Flatwoods, disturbed sites.

Description - Native perennial vine. Pinnately compound leaves with 3 ovate to linear lanceolate leaflets.

Flower - Yellow, 3/4 inch pea-like, blooms year-round.

Cheese plant - Morinda royoc

Image of Redgal, Cheese Shrub (Morinda royoc) Image - Cheese Shrub flowers (Morinda royoc).jpg Image o f Cheese plant flower Image - Cheese Shrub (Morinda royoc) fruit

Family - Rubiaceae

A woody stemmed, native vine with a spreading shrub-like habit of growth. Found in coastal hammocks & coastal strand habit of the peninsula this plant has a high salt and drought tolerance. Grows in full sun to moderate shade, stemsreach to about 10 feet.

Common names are derived from its fruit which is a syncarp (like a mulberry) and has a cheesy smell when bruised or broken open. Leaves are 4-5 inches long, dark green and primarily obovate in shape with entire margins. Small white flowers with 6 petals are produced year-round, the Cheese plant is a nectar source for many butterflies.