Outside it's hot, hazy, and humid. My daily diorama is complete with blue skies and fluffy thunderhead tufts playing hide and seek behind the San Gabriel Mountains. Yep, summer in L.A. is in full swing! The Plant Provocateur Botanical Garden is killing it right now with crazy cool flowers and fragrances. One such standout is the Stictocardia beraviensis vine that is kickin' out some tantalizing tricolor sunset supernovas. Check it!
Isn't the color ridiculous!? So vibrant, so rich. Très tropical! Stictocardia beraviensis is commonly referred to as the Hawaiian Sunset Vine or Braveheart Vine. It is related to the Morning Glory vine. Although there's mention of Hawaiian in its common name, this vine comes to us from tropical Africa and Asia. It's a lightning fast growing/twiner that can cover a fence or wall in no time.
Stictocardia beraviensis can grow in sun or shade. It outfits itself in gorgeous, luxuriously pleated, heart-shaped leaves. Leaves in the shade can grow up to 1 foot wide giving off some serious tropical realness. In the sun, leaves grow up to 1/2 that size but still cover their vines in a tropical tapestry of verdant voluptuousness. Vines can grow 10 to 12 feet long. From spring to fall, it produces dramatically dreamy, 2 to 3 inch wide, cup-shaped flowers that will remind you of the most beautiful hawaiian sunset. Their ultra-vivid color will carry your senses away to a tropical island complete with tropical breezes, beaches of white sugar sand, azure ocean, and tall tiki glasses spilling over with Mai Tais. Who's with me?!
In warmer climates, this evergreen vine will even bloom in December and January. It prefers to grow in well-draining soil, receive regular water, and is hardy down to around 30 degrees fahrenheit/-1 degrees celsius. I find mine defoliates a bit when the temps drop below 40 degrees fahrenheit/4.5 degrees celsius but springs right back with a vengeance when the temps heat back up. Also, big bonus for container gardeners, it does great in containers. Wanna create a cool tropical vibe on your balcony? Try growing this in a container and let it wrap its way around your railings or some trellis action. In no time, you can have a tropical backdrop for the perfect 'stay-cation'!
So, if you're an exotic plant nut like I am, search the internet, look high and low for this super cool, super sexy vine. It's totally worth it! Maybe one day, The Plant Provocateur might be able to offer some up. Stay tuned!