Vigna Caracalla

Corkscrew Vine 

Available: 

Seeds

3 inch pots

4 inch trellised 

1 gallon 

1 gallon trellis 

 Family: Papilionaceae (puh-pil-ee-uh-NAY-see-ee)
Genus: Vigna
(VIG-nuh)
Species: caracalla
(kar-uh-KAL-uh)

 

This vine has often been confused with the snail vine, which is in the same family, but the snail vine is a pale purple flowering vine that is not fragrant at all
Vigna Caracalla is a leguminous vine from the family Fabaceae, originating in tropical South America and Central America.  The species is named caracella, meaning that it comes from Caracas in Venezuela.  This was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and it still grows today at the plantation of Monticello the home of Thomas Jefferson
 This perennial vine has fragrant flowers said to be reminiscent of hyacinths - with a distinctive curled shape, giving rise to the common names snail vine, corkscrew vine, and snail bean.
This vine is hardy in zones 9 and above, liking full sun and consistently damp soil. It prefers high heat and humidity and can become invasive if these conditions are met. In lower (colder) zones, it does well in a pot if it is over wintered inside.
Flowers start out white, develop a purple coloration, and then turn a muted golden yellow color and are always scented. The blooms are simply exquisite, shot with primrose and shell-pink tones against a silvery base. The flowers which have  a most  powerful, sweet fragrance that may remind you of Hyacinths, They are shaped something like a nautilus shell, with a thick, coiled center and delicately curved outer petals. Each 1 1/4- to 2-inch blossom is distinctively beautiful -- and you will get masses of them over the long bloom time of this 20- to 25-foot vine! They arise as foot-long bunches up and down the stem, dangling enticingly from arbors or hanging baskets.  Fragrant Corkscrew Vine is the most exciting climber.  The foliage is lovely too -- 6 inches long, with three "fingers" and a soft, downy texture.
Fragrant Corkscrew Vine is actually a tropical perennial, so if you live in southern Florida or California you may enjoy blooms year-round. What a great source of late-season color! All it asks is plenty of sunshine to bloom steadily from midsummer until well into fall, turning your patio, entryway, or even the humble mailbox into a perfumed paradise!