Common name: Purple Wreath, Sandpaper Vine
The ideal substitute for Wisteria in the tropics and subtropics, Petrea volubilis is regarded as the best blue flowering climber for the climate.
Native to Central America (Mexico to Panama) and the West Indies, this plant belongs to a genus that includes a range of climbers, trees and shrubs.
Actual flowers are small, blue blossoms surrounded by large, blue sepals. After the flower dies the sepals retain their colour for many weeks, slowly fading before falling off the vine.
Leaves are rough with a sandpaper-like texture, and may be semi-deciduous during cold winter periods in cooler districts.
A white flowering cultivar is known to occur although it is difficult to track down.
Purple Wreath is known to tolerate periods of dry weather. It may sometimes look stressed but specimens are recorded to have grown back well after good rainfalls.
Best growing conditions are
- full sun to light shade
- use a trellis, pergola or structure to help the plant grow upwards
- prefers fertile well drained soil.
Outdoor growing in the landscape
Grow this vine over an arch at the entrance gateway to a garden.
Cover an unsightly wire fence.
Discourage the vine from growing over nearby garden plants.
Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au