Vigna caracalla

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 Vigna caracalla subsp. var.  corkscrew vine, snail vine or snail bean
The curled flowers of V. caracalla
Habit: vine-climber
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Exposure: sun
Water: moist
Features: flowers, fragrance
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 9 to 12
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: purple
Fabaceae > Vigna caracalla var. ,

Vigna caracalla is leguminous vine from the family Fabaceae, originating in tropical South America and Central America. The species is named caracalla, meaning that it comes from Caracas in Venezuela.

That this perennial vine has fragrant flowers is a common misconception (though there may be hybrid varieties as such) - said to be reminiscent of hyacinths - with a distinctive curled shape, giving rise to the common names corkscrew vine, snail vine or 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 overwintered inside.

Some data indicates some edible properties to this plant - specifically the flowers - but this should be verified from a reputable source before attempting.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Phaseolus Caracalla, Linn. Caracol. Snail-flower. Corkscrew-flower. Lfts.broadly rhombic-ovate, pointed or acuminate: fls. large and fleshy, very fragrant, the large keel coiled like a snail-shell. Tropics, probably of the Old World.— Naturalized in parts of Calif., where it grows 20 or more ft. high, sometimes becoming a nuisance. It is an old-fashioned glasshouse plant in cold climates, but is now rarely seen. P. Bertonii, Hort., recently intro. from Paraguay, although a close relative, is probably specifically distinct from P. Caracalla. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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