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TELOSMA cordata

Image of Telosma cordata

Forest & Kim Starr

Family

Asclepiadaceae

Botanical Name

TELOSMA cordata

Plant Common Name

Chinese-violet, Fragrant Telosma, Pakalana, Tonkin Creeper

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

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.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 10

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H2

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Southeastern Asia, India, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Yellow Green, Ivory

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • Fruit Color

    Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No