Cardinal Climber, Ipomoea sloteri – Grasp Gardener Program


Cardinal climber, Ipomoea sloteri.

Cardinal climber is a hybrid plant, an allotetraploid created by Logan Sloter of Columbus, Ohio who crossed (by hand pollination) purple morning glory (Ipomoea coccinea) and cypress vine (I. quamoclit, because the pollen mother or father), each native to Central and South America. He made this cross each season beginning in 1897, however all the few specimens produced have been completely seedless. It took eleven years earlier than one of many hybrid vegetation produced a single seed in 1908. When planted the next yr, that single seed grew right into a plant that produced about 500 seeds, however the progeny couldn’t be crossed with both of the mother and father or some other Ipomoeas. This hybrid, descended from this single plant, reproduces true from seed, with only a few deviations from the mother or father. Initially known as I. x multifida (and nonetheless typically supplied beneath that title), it’s now accurately known as I. sloteri.

Cypress vine, Ipomoea quamoclit, one of many mother and father of cardinal vine and its flower (inset).

Confusingly, in some areas it goes by the frequent title of cypress vine (additionally the frequent title of 1 mother or father plant), or different monikers together with morning glory or hearts and honey vine. This frost tender annual heirloom vine within the morning glory household (Convolvulaceae) has been grown as a decorative for over 100 years each for its engaging foliage and prolific flowers.

The alternate leaves of cardinal climber are midway between the finely divided, feathery leaves of cypress vine and all the, heart-shaped leaves of purple morning glory. The triangular, medium inexperienced leaves are multiply divided into quite a few deep, slender lobes of various numbers (normally Three-7 pairs plus one wider terminal lobe), nearly resembling little palm leaves and giving a lacy look to the foliage. This vigorous, twining tropical plant grows as much as 10 toes lengthy, rising slowly beneath cool situations, then quickly rising and blooming in scorching, humid climate. The slender, flattened stems intertwine and tangle amongst themselves or no matter they’re rambling up or over.

The leaves of cardinal climber (L and C) and the extra finely divided leaves of cypress vine, Ipomoea quamoclit (R).

A ruby-throated hummingbird feeds from a cardinal flower.

Cardinal vine begins blooming in mid-summer and continues till the plant is killed by frost. Like each mother or father species, cardinal climber produces vivid, vivid purple, trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow or white throats (though cypress vine may have pink or white flowers). The 5 overlapping petals of the inch lengthy flowers are flared at finish (a salverform corolla), forming a pentagon form (cypress vine flowers are extra star-shaped) from which the 5 white to yellow stamens and a single 1 to 2-lobed type with globular stigma protrude. The nectar-producing flowers are engaging to ruby throated hummingbirds, in addition to bees and a few butterflies, and shut up at night time.

The flowers of cardinal vine (L) are trumpet-shaped with a pentagonal form (LC) which reflexes again because the flower ages (RC) and eventually sheds, leaving the creating fruit behind (R).

The irregularly-shaped darkish brown seeds (magnified).

Flowers are adopted by fruits that are ovoid capsules. Every rounded inexperienced capsule ultimately dries to a papery brown cowl over 2-Four laborious seeds. The irregularly-shaped mature darkish brown to black seeds resemble a typical morning glory seed. To avoid wasting seeds to plant the next yr, enable the seed pods to dry on the vegetation and accumulate the brown pods earlier than they break up open and launch the seeds. It is not going to reseed in chilly climates (however will readily in hotter areas). Seeds are extremely poisonous if ingested.

Place cardinal climber close to a trellis, arbor or different construction it may possibly climb. Or use it as a dense groundcover or plant it close to vegetation that may decline by mid-summer (akin to breadseed poppy) so it should scramble over and canopy the opposite vegetation. Cardinal climber may even be grown in a container (however might overwhelm some other vegetation within the container even when given a help to climb) or a dangling basket the place the vines will ultimately cascade again down after climbing upwards.

Cardinal vine grows shortly from a small plant (L), to cowl a freestanding trellis (C) or on the facet of a home (R).

Develop cardinal climber in full solar in any well-drained soil. Though it should tolerate dry soil, present common water for the very best progress, and fertilize provided that the soil may be very poor. The vines could be trimmed, however don’t want common pruning, and the flowers don’t want deadheading. This plant has no important illnesses or insect pests, however rabbits and deer might feed on them.

Cardinal climber is an annual propagated from seed. To boost germination, scarify (nick with a knife or use sandpaper to abrade the laborious exterior) the big seeds and/or soak them in heat water in a single day earlier than sowing. Seeds handled this manner ought to germination in every week or two. This vine could be began indoors Four-6 weeks earlier than the final frost, however like most vegetation within the morning glory household it doesn’t prefer to have its roots disturbed, so it’s typically sown instantly within the floor in any case hazard of frost is previous and the soil is heat. Place the seeds a couple of quarter inch deep within the soil and area 6-12” aside.

– Susan Mahr, College of Wisconsin – Madison

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