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Products > Pyrostegia venusta
Pyrostegia venusta - Flame Vine

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Bignoniaceae (Bignonias)
Origin: Brazil (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Orange
Bloomtime: Fall/Winter
Synonyms: [Pyrostegia ignea, Bignonia venusta]
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Pyrostegia venusta (Flame Vine) - Flame vine is one of the most spectacular flowering vines in cultivation. It is a vigorous, evergreen liana (a name for large woody climbers) that can spread quickly by tendrils to the top of whatever supports it, including fences, other plants or even small buildings by branching profusely and climbing using its clinging tendrils. It produces clusters of spectacular orange flowers in the fall through winter; the tubular flowers with exerted style and stamens are about 3 inches long and occur in clusters of 15-20 at the tips of branches and they often hang downwards under their own weight so are well displayed from below. Fruit, when set, is a slender dry capsules about 1 foot long. Plant in full sun or part shade and water regularly. It is cold hardy to short durations temperatures down to 25° F and resprouts from the ground if nipped back. Though we think of this vine more as a plant for coastal gardens, we have been told by a gardener that he has quite successfully grown this plant in the heat of the Arizona desert. It is a vigorous vine that left on its own will densely cover what is supporting but it can be easily pruned to maintain a more open look and is a useful vine to cover an arbor or trellis at the front gate, trained on a rock wall or to cover a long fence line. It is attractive to hummingbirds. A neighboring property to our nursery once had a small barn that was completely covered by this vine and when in full bloom was quite a sight. This plant is native to Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and possibly gets as far north as southern Mexico where it grows in seasonally dry forests. The name for the genus is from the Greek word 'pyr' meaning "fire" and stegé meaning "a roof" referring to the abundance of the fire colored flowers. The specific epithet is from the Latin word 'venustus' meaning "beautiful". Other common names include Golden shower, Chinese Cracker Flower and in its native Brazil is called Belas. This plant was originally collected in Brazil in 1815 by Admiral Sir John Beresford and described from the garden in England in The Botanical Register (later Curtis) in 1817 as Begonia venusta by British botanist John Ker Bellenden, (also known as John Gawler) but was later included in the new genus Pyrostegia by John Miers in 1863.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Pyrostegia venusta.