Polygonaceae (Buckwheat) Family
Coral Vine is also known as Rose of Montana, Confederate Vine, Mexican CoralVine, Mexican Creeper, Queen's Jewels, and Queen's Wreath.
Plant is a sprawling evergreen (may be deciduous beyond the coast line) climbing vine; using tendril that are located at the end of each colorful raceme or flower clusters. Preferred habitat is thin pine woods, fence rows, yards and marshy areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
Leaves are rough; narrowly heart-shaped; on long leaf stalks; numerous veins in almost checker-board design.
The flowers are pea-like in a raceme of clusters. Each flower is bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The color is pink. The keel and banner point skyward. Flowers occur in the summer.
Fruit is a legume.
The vine came to us from Mexico and Central America and is found throughout the coastal area of the Gulf; particularly Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It is fast growing and provides a welcome shade to porches and arbors, making a dense cover of heart-shaped leaves. The sweet nectar is a favorite of honeybees.
Steve Bender and Felder Rushing wrote an amusing article about Coral Vine in their book, Passalong Plants, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill & London, 1993.
In the article questions were asked, Does the frost fall on air potatoes? Can I prune my fish bait tree? Why wont my high geraniums bloom? Do I need to stick running okry? When do I move my naked ladies? Are the taters of Rose-of-Montana poison? They are said to be so but I dont want to be the first to try them.