Callaeum macropterum

The clusters of dainty flowers on butterfly vine shine as brilliant as the summer sun. But it’s the seed pods that give the plant its most common name. During summer and fall, chartreuse “wings” unfold on the seed pods that look like butterflies. The papery pods turn tan to brown as they mature. In mild winters, the vine will retain its glossy green foliage. Butterfly vine is drought tolerant and thrives in hot, sunny locations. It is highly resistant to both insects and disease.

Hardiness: Zone 8b

Exposure: Hot sun to partial shade

Size: Height — 10 – 15 feet; Spread — 10 – 15 feet

Plant type: Perennial, twining, evergreen vine

Planting time: Spring and summer from containerized plants

Soil type: Butterfly vine is adapted to any well drained soil including both acidic and alkaline.

Suggested uses: Climbing on fences, trellises, and arbors and well as spilling over walls and out of large containers.

Special notes: Native to Mexico. In colder areas of the state butterfly vine can be grown as a herbaceous perennial (where the ground doesn’t freeze) or as a tropical annual container plant. Formerly known as Mascagnia macroptera and also called yellow orchid vine.