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Cobaea scandens, photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story
Cobaea scandens, photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story

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Zone
Zones 3-24, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Cobaea scandens

Cup-and-Saucer Vine
Polemoniaceae
Annuals, Perennials, Vines, Flowers

Perennial usually grown as an annual. An extremely vigorous Mexican native that can grow to 25 ft. tall in only one season. Its bell-shaped flowers are firstgreenish, then turn violet or rose-purple. There is also awhite-flowered form. Called cup-and-saucer vine because a2-in.-long cup of petals sits ina large, green, saucerlike calyx. Leaves divided into two or three pairs of oval, 4-in. leaflets. At ends of leaves are curling tendrils that enable vine to climb rough surfaces without support.

Blooms first year from seed. May not bloom until very late summer in coolest climates. In mildest-winter areas, lives from year to year, eventually reaching over 40 ft. long; blooms heavily in midsummer the first year, from spring to autumn in subsequent years.

The hard-coated seeds may rot if sown outdoors in cool weather. Start indoors in 4-in. pots; notch seeds with knife and press edgewise into moistened potting mix, barely covering seeds. Keep moist but not wet; transplant seedlings to warm, sunny location when weather warms. Protect from strong winds.

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