Forest & Kim Starr
Plant Common Name
Chinese-violet, Fragrant Telosma, Pakalana, Tonkin Creeper
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
Heart-shaped leaves already make the pakalana vine attractive, but during the warmth of spring and summer the yellowish flowers emit an intoxicating fragrance that is no less than wonderful. A twining evergreen cold-tender vine, it is native to India, southern China and Burma.
The green leaves are nicely heart-shaped and occur all along the slightly fuzzy, climbing stems of sandy brown. From late spring to the autumn, clusters of flowers and hang from the stems all along the vine. Each blossom is yellow to orange-yellow with hints of yellow-green, with a whitish center. The floral fragrance, which is like a combination of roses and violets, is most intense in the evening when humidity is high. The long, pointed but seemingly four-sided seedpod forms after moths pollinate.
Grow pakalana vine in full to partial sun in a fertile, moist but well-draining soil that is not alkaline. It's best in regions with ample humidity. It makes a lovely conversation piece on walls in tropical courtyards where both the leaves and the floral fragrance can be admired. The flower buds and blossoms are also edible. Protect this vine from even chilly winter temperatures, let alone frosts. Indoors it needs bright light and should be in a hot, humid greenhouse as compared to a cool one.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 10
USDA Hardiness Zone
10 - 15
Full Sun, Partial Sun
10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall
Southeastern Asia, India, China
Spring, Summer, Fall
Edible, Feature Plant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical, Vine
Sharp or Has Thorns