Mascagnia and Stigmaphyllon
Mascagnia macroptera (Butterfly Vine) - This is an evergreen vine that climbs by twining stems bearing dark green, linear leaves. Beginning in late spring, this vine produces clusters of showy yellow 5-petaled 1-inch wide orchid-shaped flowers followed by papery, winged chartreuse seed pods that turn tan. This fruit resembles a green to brown butterfly, hence the common name "Butterfly Vine". A second flowering will often occur in fall. This aggressive heat-loving vine can climb 15 to 20 feet up a trellis or fence or without support it will twine on itself, growing in a mound which can be kept pruned to a shrub or groundcover. Plant in full or part sun and although it is a moderately drought tolerant plant once established, it will be more lush with regular watering from late spring through fall. Plants are cold hardy and evergreen to the mid-20s F. If grown in cooler climates this plant is considered deciduous. If frozen to the ground in such cold locations as USDA Zone 8 it will often resprout from the base but late frosts delay flowering. This plant is native to Mexico from central Baja California and on the mainland from Sonora south throughout much of Mexico. It is commonly called butterfly pea vine, yellow orchid vine, or gallinita. The name was given to this genus in 1824 by the Italian naturalist and physician Carlo Luigi Guiseppe Bertero (1789-1831) to honor Paolo Mascagni (1755-1815) an Italian naturalist and professor of anatomy at the University of Pisa. The specific epithet comes from the Greek words 'macro' meaning "large" and 'ptera' or 'pteron' meaning "winged" in reference to the large winged fruit of this species. Mascagnia macroptera is sometimes considered a synonym with Stigmaphyllon ciliatum which differs in having ovate ciliate margined leaves and it also has been known as Callaeum macropterum. There is some confusion as to what the current name of this plant is and usually The Plant List (a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden) has been a very useful resource in these cases but in this case it lists both Callaeum macropterum (DC.) D.M.Johnson and Mascagnia macroptera (Moc. & Sessé ex DC.) Nied as valid names and both reference Tropicos which also has both names as valid yet reference each other and the basionym Hiraea macroptera Moc. & Sessé ex DC - very confusing! Until such time as this can be resolved we continue to list this plant as Mascagnia macroptera.
Stigmaphyllon ciliatum (Orchid Vine, Brazilian Golden Vine) – A quick growing, evergreen vine with interesting foliage and beautiful flowers. The oval leaves have distinct widely spaced long hairs looking like eyelashes (hence the specific epithet 'ciliatum') along the leaf margin and in summer and fall, this vine is covered intermittently with clusters of bright, airy, orchid like yellow flowers. Plant in full sun to part shade and give occasional to regular watering. It is not very frost hardy but has rebounded in our garden after tips have frozen down at around 29° F. This is a delicate and interesting vine for mild climates. This plant is often listed as being from Central America but it grows as far south as Brazil. It was in fact noted by Joseph Banks at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1768). The genus name comes from the Latin words 'stigma' for the receptive apex of the pistil of a flower and 'phyla', meaning "leaf" for the leaf-like stigma in the genus and the specific epithet is a reference to the hair-like projections along the leaf margins.
Stigmaphyllon littorale (Orchid Vine) - Quick growing, evergreen vine covered intermittently with clusters of bright, airy, yellow flowers in the summer. Prefers sun to part shade and regular watering. Similar to S. ciliatum, but leaves are lacking the ciliate margins and it has larger flower clusters. It is also more frost hardy. We have had it sail through cold nights down to 25° F and others report it hardy to USDA zone 8b – down to 10° F. This plant is found growing along the Rio Parana, Rio Uruguay and Rio Paragua and along Brazilian coastal areas. The genus name comes from the Latin words 'stigma' for the receptive apex of the pistil of a flower and 'phyla', meaning "leaf" for the leaf-like stigma in the genus. This plant is listed as a synonym of Stigmaphyllon bonariense on The Plant List, the collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Missouri Botanic Garden. This name change is based on the previous description of the species as Banisteria bonariensis by British botanist William Hooker and Scottish botanist George A. Walker-Arnott, whose date of publication of 1832 in Hooker's Botanical Miscellany, which was produced in parts from 1829 through 1833, was misinterpreted and should have taken precedence over the French botanist Adrien-Henri de Jussieu's description in Flora Brasiliae Meridionalis in 1833. Though we no longer offer this plant, we retained the original name that we grew this plant under until such time as this name gets wider recognition.