Dalechampia dioscoreifolia, Winged Beauty, Costa Rican Butterfly Vine

Dalechampia dioscoreifolia

Winged Beauty, Costa Rican Butterfly Vine
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Origin: South America
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapVine or creeper plantSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterBlue, lavender, purple flowersPink flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Spurge family is well known for the poinsettia and other showy euphorbias, but not for its unusual vines. This is one which seems to enchant anyone who sees it. It has slender, somewhat hairy stems, climbing to 10-20'. Set along these are large, nearly heart-shaped, toothed leaves. The more dramatic feature, however, is the flowering shoots. Each has a pair of broad, pointed, reddish purple bracts, 2-3" long, widely spreading above and below the clustered small, whitish flowers. The impression is much like that of the Dove Tree, Davidia involucrata. Outstanding sized bracts with an eye-catching show of color characterize this vigorous growing vine. With a crepe-paper-type texture, violet pink bracts oppose each other in an open flat bloom, often reaching 5" in width. "Winged Beauty" flowers year-round with its heaviest bloom in late summer. Grows to 1-3' in container, vining in habit, minimum temperature 50F, everbloomer. This is a plant of rather easy culture but uncertain hardiness; it might recover after freezes of close to 20F. In any case, it thrives in sun or light shade, in reasonably well drained soil, with moderate to regular watering.

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