James H. Schutte
(Kangaroo Ivy Cissus, Kangaroo Vine)
The common name "kangaroo vine" fittingly traces this tropical evergreen vine to northern Australia. In its native environment, it grows in or near the rainforest. In the home and garden, it is valued for its glossy, deep green, leathery leaves that remain attractive in both sunshine and shade. It makes a trusty houseplant, tender patio specimen or tropical outdoor vine.
Pointed, oval leaves with serrated edges and prominent veins densely line the climbing stems of kangaroo vine. Nor surprisingly,...
James H. Schutte
(Arizona Grape Ivy, Ivy Treebine, Possum Grape, Sorrel Vine)
Very fast-growing and displaying attractive teethed green leaves that fall away in winter, sorrel vine is a versatile vine or groundcover. Native to the southern United States and adjacent parts of northern Mexico, it bears tendrils opposite the leaves that will clasp onto any surface that isn't glass-smooth.
The leathery, succulent green leaves are variable in shape. Usually they're three-lobed but occasional deltoid-shaped blades occur with or without lobes, but always with coarse teeth. Tiny...
(Devil's Backbone, Veldt Grape, Winged Treebine)
Here's a succulent tropical vine that has more interesting stems than leaves. Winged treebine hails from tropical Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and eastern India. Odd-looking and generally leafless, its primary feature are thick, jointed, four-angled green stems.
The leaves, which aren't all that frequent, occur opposite tendrils at nodes on the winged stems. Each leaf is oval or three-lobed with coarse teeth and a fleshy texture. In summer, tiny clusters of green-yellow flowers appear, followed...
(Ivy of Paraguay)
At first glance, you may mistake the ivy of Paraguay as a miniaturized Virginia creeper. The small, leathery, green leaves on this tropical evergreen vine -- native from southern Brazil westward to northern Chile -- comprise three or five leaflets.
The medium green leaves on this fast-growing and slender vine are accompanied by tendrils. In summertime, tiny green flowers occur in clusters opposite the leaves. Glossy oval berries ensue. The leaves and fruits contrast the reddish stems nicely.
(Marine Ivy, Mexican Grape Ivy, Mexican Sorrelvine)
Known as marine ivy or Mexican sorrelvine, this mostly herbaceous vine that grows from a woody stem base hails from arid northern Mexico. Naturally inhabiting salt marshes, chaparral and open woodlands, both its leaves and fruits provide ornamentation to the dry garden.
Simple or forked tendrils help the stems clasp onto trees or climb over shrubs. Evergreen only when frosts don't occur, marine ivy's leaves are smooth and dark green and dry green and papery thin. Typically each leathery and fleshy...
(Common Gum Rockrose, Frank Birch Rockrose)
A relatively large rockrose that is also notable for its aromatic foliage and palm-sized white flowers, Cistus ladanifer is native to Southwest Europe and Northwest Africa. The flowers of the cultivar 'Frank Birch' lack the purple basal blotches typical of the species. The crinkled, five-petaled blooms appear in late spring and early summer, and sporadically at other seasons. A ruff of yellow stamens adorns each flower's center. The lance-shaped, fragrant, sticky leaves are dark green above...
James H. Schutte
(Sageleaf Rockrose, White Rockrose)
This rockrose isn’t a true rose but a drought- adapted, large-flowered shrub from the Old World. It is found along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and further inland where winters are mild and rainy followed by a long, dry summer. The leaves are small, rough and gray-green, typical of many plants adapted to drought. They are are rich in potent oils once extracted as a substitute for the ancient perfumer’s ambergris.
These evergreen shrubs do their growing during the moist winter months. In...
Rockrose is a hardy, evergreen shrub. It is a natural hybrid between Cistus ladanifer and Cistus populifolius, both native to the Mediterranean region. Shiny, sticky leaves are lance-shaped, opposite on the stem and have smooth to wavy margins. The lovely, papery, abundant, summer flowers are solitary and open for one day. They are roundish, flat, white with a red tint, have a center of bright gold stamens and reminiscent of wild roses. The stems and foliage have a pleasant, resinous...
(Crimson-Spot Rockrose, Rockrose)
Rockrose is a hardy, evergreen shrub. It is a natural hybrid between Cistus ladanifer and Cistus populifolius, both native to the Mediterranean region. Shiny, sticky leaves are lance-shaped, opposite on the stem and have smooth to wavy margins. The lovely, papery, abundant, summer flowers are solitary and open for one day. The cultivar ‘Maculatus’ has flowers which are roundish, flat, white with a red to maroon spot at the base or each petal. The flowers have a center of bright gold...