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Products > Thenardia floribunda
Thenardia floribunda - Petatillo

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Vine
Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbanes)
Origin: Mexico (North America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Violet Red
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Height: Climbing (Vine)
Width: Spreading
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30° F
Thenardia floribunda (Petatillo) - A beautiful evergreen vine native to the Méxican states of Michoacán south into México, Guerrero and Oaxaca. It has deep green slender lance shaped tapered leaves with wavy margins and in summer through fall clusters of fragrant reddish-purple flowers bloom that have white petal tips. Plant in partial to full sun and water regularly through summer. Though it has been grown in southern California since it was introduced by Evans and Reeves nursery in 1941, this vine's frost tolerance in cultivation is not well documented. It would seem that it is at least hardy to 25° to 30° F as an older plant was found in the lower foothills of Santa Barbara. Though this area is frost free most winters this plant would have survived the historic 1990 freeze when temperatures dropped into the lower 20's °F. in downtown Santa Barbara. Its planting in Santa Barbara was advocated in an article by Lockwood and Elizabeth de Forest titled "Climbers" in the May 1942 issue of "Santa Barbara Gardener" (Vol 17,#6). This article noted that Thenardia floribunda is a "vine with fragrant maroon flowers with white centers comes from Mexico. It is evergreen, has neat lance shaped leaves about an inch across and 4 to 5 inches long, is not particular as to soil but must have summer water." Roland Hoyt in "Ornamental Plants for Subtropical Regions" lists this plant as a veiling vine, one that covers loosely by softening rather than conceiling and brings about privacy gracefully in "a lax, mellowing manner." He also noted that its fragrance is of "ripe apples nostalgic of an old time cellar" though we find the aroma richer with a hint of jasmine. Our thanks to Raven Whitehawk for bringing this vine to our attention.  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  Thenardia floribunda.