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Products > Dalechampia aristolochiifolia
 
Dalechampia aristolochiifolia - Purple Wings
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Spurges)
Origin: Costa Rica (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Dalechampia dioscoreifolia, Hort.]
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Dalechampia aristolochiifolia (Purple Wings) - A fast growing vine in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) that has light green 5 inch long rough-textured heart-shaped leaves. The "blooms" have small yellow male and reddish brown female flowers in a structure called a pseudanthia. Like the related Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), the flowers are not nearly as showy as the two large surrounding bracts, which are fuchsia-purple colored measuring 2-3 inches wide and long with serrated margins and prominent veins. These bracts and flowers, looking like purple butterflies appear nearly year round with peak bloom from summer through fall. Plant in full sun to medium shade and water moderately. Blooms less and is less vigorous when kept dry. It is hardy to about 20-25 degrees F. This plant is native to seasonal forests in Peru. The name for the genus honors 16th century French physician and writer Jacobus Dalechampius, also known as Jacques d' Alechamp. The specific epithet is in reference to the leaves looking like those of the pipevine in the genus Aristolochia. We first received this plant in 1993 as Dalechampia dioscoreifolia, a valid name for a similar species that ranges from Costa Rica south to Bolivia and western Brazil. We sold this plant for over 20 years using this name but it is apparent now that it was initially misidentified and what has long been in cultivation in California under this name is actually the Peruvian species, Dalechampia aristolochiifolia. Other common names that have been associated with this plant include Costa Rican Butterfly Vine, Bowtie Vine, Silk Crepe Flower.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Dalechampia aristolochiifolia.
 
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