Index > Garden Blog

Date: 27 Apr 2019, Entry id: 1556361063-2

Impossibly exotic Chalice Vine

By Onika Amell, our flower specialist

Q: I live on Sanibel Island, Florida and I'm looking for an exotic vine to cover the side of my house. A friend suggested Chalice vine. What can you tell me about it and will it tolerate the salty soil and salt spray of the island?

A: Chalice vine, or Cup of Gold - Solandra maxima - is a large, woody, scrambling tropical vine with huge, cup-shaped flowers. Variety Variegata has also amazing cream and green variegated foliage. The flowers are fragrant, especially in the evenings, with a lovely coconut-like aroma. This unusual vine will give you intermittent waves of large, wide flaring golden trumpets.
Even when not in flower, it is beautiful as new growth is bright and purple-bronze in color. It has a large and loose spreading habit. As this vine ages, flowers will appear along the entire length of branches off the main vine. So, just think about it - up to 100 feet vine and you will have about 500 flowers at the same time! They are very fast growing and usually bloom from February until May. Plant them... Sit back and wait... Four months of heaven!
They are great for seaside gardens as they are very tolerant of salt spray and salty soils. Will, in fact, thrive in most any well-drained soil.
Give it a large, sturdy pergola or trellis, or train it to grow up the side of a house where it will spill down over windows and doorways to take your breath away... Chalice vine is impossibly exotic!