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Florida's Wild Vines

Page 5 of 5

Plants on this page - Rosary pea, Air potato, Coral vine, Golden pothos, Bitter melon, Puncture weed, Noyau vine, Bleeding heart vine, Milkweed vine

Rosary pea - Abrus precatorius

Rosary pea vine Rosary pea flowers

Family - Fabaceae

Habitat - Ruderal, Flatwoods, Hammocks

Description - Introduced, category 1 invasive species. Extremely poisonous, the distinctive red and black seeds of this vine can be fatal if eaten.Climbing, twining or trailing vine with alternate, compound leaves having 5-15 pairs of oval to oblong leaflets with entire margins.

Flower - Pea-like white to reddish flowers in dense clusters at leaf axils. Fruit is a short oblong pod which splits open at maturity to reveal the scarlet and black seeds.

Air potato - Dioscorea bulbifera

Air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) Air potato leaf (Dioscorea bulbifera)

Family - Dioscoreaceae

Habitat - Margins of forests, particularly in moist areas

Description - Introduced invasive twining vine, fast growing to 60 70 feet, covering and shading out native plants. Long stalked, cordate alternate leaves to 8 inches long with palmately arranged veins. Produces aerial tubers from leaf axils from which new plants develop.

Flower - Usually not present in Florida.

Coral Vine - Antigonon leptopus

Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus)Image - Coral vine covering shrubs

Family - Polygonaceae

Habitat - Disturbed areas, roadsides, hammocks.

Description - Introduced category 2 invasive species, reaching lengths of 30 to 40 feet and climbing by tendrils. Cordate leaves are up to 4 inches long with entire, slightly undulate ( wavy ) margins. The upper leaf surface has recessed veins & wrinkled appearance.

Flower -Racemes of tiny flowers with larger colorful sepals, varying from pink to coral to white are produced in summer.

Golden Pothos - Epipremnum pinnatum L.

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum pinnatum) Golden Pothos leaf

Family - Araceae

Habitat - Hammocks - coastal and inland

Description - Introduced climbing vine to 30 feet or more, often seen on Sabal Palms, leaves are alternate, ovate, average 18 inches long up to 36 inches. This vine is commonly sold as a potted plant in garden centers and as such usually has a much smaller stature with leaves rarely exceeding 4-5 inches.

Bitter melon, Balsam apple - Momordica charantia

Balsampear (Momordica charantia L) Balsam apple fruit

Family - Cucurbitaceae

Habitat - Ruderal, fence-lines, Hammocks, Orange groves.

Description - Introduced annual creeping or climbing herbaceous vine. Leaves alternate, deeply palmately cut with five to seven lobes, may be hairy or smooth, margins usually toothed. Often appears as a yard weed and can be quite persistent if allowed to self seed. A related specie, Momordicabalsamina L. is sometimes cultivated.

Flower - A solitary yellow flower is produced on stalks, produces an egg shaped, ribbed fruit with a bumpy surface, 3-4 inches long, golden yellow to bright orange, splitting open when mature to reveal bright red arils which contain seeds.

Puncture Weed - Tribulus cistoides

Puncture Weed (Tribulus cistoids) Puncture weed fruit (Tribulus cistoids)

Family - Zygophyllaceae

Habitat - Sandy areas, disturbed sites, very common roadside plant.

Description - Introduced. Perennial Vine, Sub-shrub, Forb, herb. Forms thick mats, 2-8 inches in height, leaves pinnately compound. This is one reason not to barefoot in Florida!

Flower - Yellow, 1 1/2-2 inches across, fruit is a small spiny brown hard nut that resembles a "battle axe" of the middle ages.

Noyau vine - Merremia dissecta

Noyau Vine (Merremia dissecta)

Family - Convolvulaceae

Habitat - Ruderal

Description - Native status of this plant is uncertain. Twining vine with hirsute stems, leaves are deeply palmately lobed.

Flower - 3-4 inch white tubular flower with reddish center

Bleeding Heart Vine - Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) closeup Clerodendrum thomsoniae

Family - Lamiaceae

Habitat - Ruderal, can be found around old home sites, escapes from cultivation in the southern part of the state.

Description - Not native, introduced perennial twining vine up to 20 feet or more in length. Leaves are alternate, ovate to slightly cordate with entire margins.

Flower - Clusters of flowers with crimson red petals, equal or slightly larger white or sometimes purplish sepals. Long protruding (exserted) stamens.

Milkweed vine - Morrenia odorata

Latex plant Latex plant detail

Family - Apocynaceae

Native to S. America this perennial, twining, climbing vine has greenish white flowers and produces large pods that split open at maturity, releasing hundreds of seeds with tiny silken hairs that aid in seed dispersal by the wind. Leaves are cordate to hastate, new growth and stems are grey-green in color and pubescent. This vine is a pest in orange groves, in fact it was first found in a Florida orange grove in 1957, possibly from a nearby house plant. Bleeds a white, milky sap when a stem is broken, as with other members of the milkweed family.