Thursday, May 5, 2011

That dreadful plant- Butterfly vine.....





Ancient one has complained about the honeysuckle vine that plagues her garden. I countered with my very worst problem, the Butterfly Vine.

My MIL innocently gave me a start of this vine. It lives on my fence and offers marvelous privacy; nothing can see through it, nothing can go through it. Birds blissfully build their nests in it, knowing they are safe from cats, as it is not sturdy enough for the cats to climb on.



It does not freeze, stays green all year long. When it blooms, it is a lovely yellow blanket, and it blooms for a long time. I have never seen a seedling, so I suspect the seeds are sterile, BUT....it roots very easily, anywhere it touches the ground.



I have found vines as long as 40' long, and would not doubt they grow much longer. This is a tough vine.

The seed pods are a real novelty. They are a lime green butterfly, and it is very exciting to see all those butterflies on the fence.



The lime green butterflies dry to a golden brown butterfly and will stay in that form for years. They do not break down and fall apart. They can be painted with acrylic craft paint, glued to a stick and used as a decoration for a pot plant, or worn in your hair as an adornment. If you look at the first photo, you can see a really good dry seed pod.
This is one of those plants- you like it, you hate it.


Honeysuckle does at least have a lovely fragrance. Butterfly vine does not smell good.

22 comments:

Hal said...

Hi I quite enjoy your blog, Im new at this stuff, my blog is about agriculture too could you take a look and see what you think

thanks
Hal

halsadayinthelife.blogspot.com

janie said...

Your blog is quite new, but I think you are off to a good start. Goodness knows I am not any kind of expert. Just follow your instincts, you will be fine.

janie said...
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ancient one said...

All I have to say is that sure is a pretty vine and so interesting. I've never seen anything like it. Wonder how it would do as a hanging basket?

I had some English ivy that behaved itself so well as long as it was in a pot...then I put a little piece in the ground next to a fence post thinking it would run on the post...big, big, mistake. It keeps right on going.

I wonder if we got that honey suckle in some mulch we brought from the landfill? It seems to me that I never had any before then.

NellJean said...

Honeysuckle that just shows up is often bird planted.

Here's what TAMU says about Butterfly Vine:
"...Mascagnia macroptera (YELLOW BUTTERFLY VINE, GALLINITA). native of Mexico ... blooms from May to September ... full sun to light shade .... very heat tolerant but is best adapted to U.S.D.A. Zones 8-10 ... For north Texas, use as a container plant for seasonal color. ...can be grown on any type of support like a fence, pole or stake. It is easily pruned into a shrub and can even be used as a ground cover."

I guess I'll pass. I'm overrun by 10 kinds of climbing plants -- and I can't get a clematis to do anything.

The butterflies sound like perfect craft material for Bible School.

Wendy said...

sounds like you can do some fun things with the seedpods.

gld said...

I like the vine....but I am afraid of rampant vining plants....like Bermuda Grass! I couldn't handle another. It is a unique plant though.

Daricia, A Charlotte Garden said...

well, i love it! but i've never grown it, so what do i know? it's just pretty and i love the seed pods. sounds a lot like trumpet vine here - vigorous growth, very pretty in bloom, and hummingbirds like it, but it reseeds so much you give up wanting to grow it.

janie said...

Daricia, I also have a trumpet vine. My MIL was digging, digging it from her garden, and was complaining she could not get rid of it. I begged her for it. "You don't want that!" "Oh, yes, it will be sooooo pretty...."

And now it has torn up 2 fences, ripped a chain link fence from the ground, and almost taken over the greenhouse. No, I really do not want that....not anymore, I don't. LOL

Tootsie said...

I am not sure...it seems kind of pretty!!!

Stiletto said...

I think it is a lovely vine in spite of its unbridled growth which indicates a plant of low maintennance.

Diana of Elephants Eye said...

Still with us Janie? I miss your blog posts. Would love to hear more about rain gardening. Pretty please?

janie said...

I was working on a post for this blog, but cannot find the place that says....new post. Can someone tell me how to start this thing up again? LOL

janie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
janie said...

Never mind, I only needed to sign in.....

Beth Behr said...

Great blog and pictures! I myself am an obsessive/compulsive plant collector. I am a little concerned about the title of this post "that dreadful plant" meaning you do not like it? You say it offers privacy and has a very lovely yellow jacket (when in bloom). It also stays green all year round? It looks beautiful and from the sound of it you like it, yet you call it dreadful? Just wondering.

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janie said...

The reason I call the Butterfly Vine a dreadful plant is because it cannot be controlled! It is soooo aggressive, grows so fast, and here with our mild winters, the only controls seem to be chemical, which I don't like. I picked up a bit of it out by our road, and it turned out to be a
40' vine! It wraps around my crepe myrtles and roses, and mingles with the plumbago and esperanza. It is a lot of work, that battle I lose, most of the time. Bobby goes after it with a weed eater sometimes, but that challenges it, and it grows twice as fast!
I need to figure out how to use this blog again. I have some things to share.

Ken Burk said...

At the Fall plant fest at our local arboretum the lovely lady helping me said that i needed to have ONE of these. I have a large latticed area that I keep my trash cans in (among other things). It really has not done much since I planted it. It's not dead or dying, It just has not grown much. I do want it to take over this area, so i am excited that it can, but I don't know if I am doing anything wrong.

janie said...

Where are you Ken Burk? When did you plant your plant? It could be your soil is acidic, ours is alkaline. It doesn't need much fertilization, just seems to grow on nothing. If your soil is very acidic, you can help with that. We are at a loss there, not much we can do to change the Ph of our soil.

Donna Pratt said...

when do you plant this butterfly vine

Bimbo Malone said...

I have one that is 12 years old at least. It grows on a trellis and has spread to my 8' privacy fence. It has spread along the top of the fence about 10' but has never come up anywhere else. It provides beauty year round and is not the dreadful vine I am reading about. Very well behaved! I love it.

sam said...

Nice Blog! vine looking very beautiful without any extra efforts and low maintenance and vine gives pretty look our garden.
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