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Mascagnia

Orchid Vine
Malpighiaceae
Deciduous, Vines

These twining vines native to Mexico are useful in desert gardens, where they grow to about 15 ft. and bloom at the hottest time of year. Bright green leaves in opposite pairs resemble those of honeysuckle (Lonicera). Bear clusters of five-petaled blossoms (the petals are shaped like Ping-Pong paddles); each bloom is centered with ten stamens. Oddly winged seedpods that look something like butterflies follow the flowers; these are sometimes used in dried arrangements.

Mascagnia lilacina
Mascagnia lilacina

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Mascagnia lilacina

This vine twines to 15–20 ft., with 1 1/2-in. leaves and lilac flowers that are followed by inch-wide seed pods. The plant is hardy to 15° to 18°F/–9° to –8°C.

Mascagnia macroptera

Grows to 15 ft., with 3-in. leaves. Abundant bright yellow flowers are followed by conspicuous 2-in., yellow-green seed pods. Hardy to 22° to 24°F/–6° to –4°C.

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