Purple Passion Is Smashin' - Petrea volubilis

 |Petrea volubilis floral profile|

|Petrea volubilis floral profile|

Purple is a symbol of wealth and royalty.  It has an air of mystery and magic to it as well.  Before your eyes lies a botanically beautiful example of a flowering vine that possesses all of these qualities.  May I present...Petrea volubilis commonly referred to as Queen's Wreath and oddly enough, Sandpaper vine.  Petrea volubilis is like a doppleganger to Wisteria.  It's a twining vine that produces really cool, lilac colored, star-shaped flowers with contrasting violet corollas.  The beautiful thing about these flowers is that after the violet corollas bloom for several days they detach themselves and the lilac colored calyces remain on the vine and slowly fade from purple to pale blue to grey.  The color change makes for a dreamy contrast against the textural foliage.

 |Petrea volubilis foliage + flower|

|Petrea volubilis foliage + flower|

So what's up with this sandpaper common name?  Well, Petrea volubilis gets this nickname from the fact that its foliage has a very coarse texture that is similar to sandpaper.  Strange as it sounds, it's makes this vine even more unique and mysterious.  This vine originates from Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and the West Indies.  It's got a tropical visage and loves to kick out 1 foot long purple clusters of color in spring and summer on vines that can reach up to 20 feet long.  It looks great scrambling on a sturdy trellis or supportive structure.  It likes full sun, fertile, well-draining soil, regular water, and is hardy down to 30 degrees fahrenheit/-1 degrees celsius.  In cold temps, this vine will shed some of its leaves, leaving it semi-deciduous in the winter months.  Then, come spring, it powers up and delivers beautiful, bountiful showers of flowers with a purple passion that's smashin'!