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Corkscrew vine

Cochliasanthus caracalla

Snail creeper, Snailflower, Snail bean (Eng.)

This perennial vine has fragrant flowers said to be reminiscent of hyacinths, with a distinctive curled shape, giving rise to the common names. This is a non-invasive species, that will quickly cover a pergola.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Flowers can be cut during the 6 week flowering time. Seeds can be harvested from the seed pods once they are ripe. If in a frost prone area, harvest the seed pods while still green.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in a sunny area in springtime, 7cm apart and cover with 1cm of light soil firmed down, keep the soil moist at all times while germinating.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
The plant grows white buds that produce nectar, which attracts ants, who then pollinate the flowers.
Attractive flowers
Highly fragrant, multicolored, corkscrew or spiral shaped flowers. The flowers are extremely wavy, immature blossoms very much resemble multicolored spirals or corkscrews.

Geography

Origin
America, South and Central
Natural climate
Temperate to tropical

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Wet
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Personality

Family
Fabaceae
Flower colour
White with purple streaks that fade to cream and then to yellow with age.
Scent
Strong

Problems

Aphids, control by encouraging beneficial predators like Lady bugs.
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

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