From:Cypress, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Butterfly Gardens Title: Non-native tropical Butterfly vine (Mascagnia macroptera) in Houston Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton
HOWDY . . . Miss Smarty Plants !!!
I am trying to identify one of the most intriguing, unusual & beautiful vines that I have ever seen. I encountered this vine at the home of an 87 year old widow living in The Heights (just North of downtown Houston).
The vine itself grew along her chain-link fence, for a total length of around 15 feet. It was lush yellow-green in coloration. The most identifiable characteristic of this vine . . . is its seed . . . they are protected (?) transported (?) by what I can only describe as looking exactly like "butterfly" wings.
These butterfly wing "flowers"(?) are bright yellow green during the summer growth period . . . but turn the most brilliant shade of yellow in the fall.
I have several of the seeds and have given them to friends who attempt to grow a vine from them . . . to no avail. I am trying to germinate five (5) of the seeds now by cold stratifying them for 7 days . . . we'll see what happens !!!
This is about all that I know of the plant, as she simply referred to the vine as her "Butterfly" vine. The only "flower" that I saw on this plant were the aforementioned "woody" wings surrounding the seed . . . think of a butterfly and you've got the picture. The "abdomen" would be the seed . . . The "wings" are about the size of a medium sized butterfly . . . with very orchid-like characteristics, in appearances only . . . its not a "flower" in the true sense of the word.
Have you ever heard of such a vine or am I daydreaming ???
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