Favorite Flora: Cypress Vine

Cypress vine – Ipomoea quamoclit

By Debra Knapke

Yes, the flowers are that intense scarlet!  The cypress vine is an annual vine that graces the garden in the late summer to mid-fall.  It is shy about opening its blossoms on cloudy days, but a bright overcast day is enough to send it into a frenzy of bloom.  All August and September I have watched a female hummingbird visit in the morning at lunch and at dusk.  She has chased other hummers away; it seems she thinks this is her private stock of nectar.

I really do nothing to for the cypress vine other than guide the initial twining stems onto the various trellises I have scattered in my garden.  It likes a moist soil initially – a challenge this summer – and a full sun exposure.  After the first moderate to hard frost, the vine dies, but it leaves behind its legacy of seeds; lots and lots of seeds.  I scatter them in my garden and share with others who want to enjoy this scarlet beauty.

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