Friday, March 23, 2012

Mexican Flame Vine Shines with Late Winter Color

The last few weeks we have had more gray clouds than sun -- an unusual weather pattern here in San Antonio.  The bright, splashy blooms of Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio confusus) have added a much needed infusion of color these days.



Gorgeous and bright flowers.  Up close the centers look like orange velcro hooks while the petals drop like a fringe. 
 

Mexican Flame Vine is native to northern Mexico and is considered a tropical hardy to Zone 9.   Here in Zone 8b it is planted against the stone wall on the sunny south side of my house and has survived two record cold winters.



It has died back in colder winters, but this mild winter has kept it evergreen and blooming earlier than ever.

It is quickly outgrowing the little temporary trellis and reaching for the fig tree to the right.  The fence it was originally planted next to has moved and since it should continue blooming most of the year, I'll find it a larger trellis to climb soon.

22 comments:

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    1. They are cheerful, especially with our cloudy days.

      BTW, I can't find the comments box on your blog. I left a comment on FB for you.

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  2. Oh what a beautiful vibrant colour. I've never heard of that senecio before. Another plant for my wish list.

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    1. It is getting easier to find, so they might have it over there.

      I was looking for seeds of a local Texas wildflower recently and found the only current source is in the UK!

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  3. I love that plant, although I've never grown it. I don't think it's as winter hardy here in Austin as south of us (duh!). I have seen it in numerous places south of Central Texas and it's so bright and fetching! Lovely photos!

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    1. Just had a FB note from Cat at Whimsical Gardener and hers froze back so you might want to follow up with her and see if hers returns.

      Mine made it through 15F low and the three day freeze so it's possible.

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    2. Tina, I have it Kyle, so you should be able to grow it in Austin. However, you have to provide winter protection like planting it near the house or heavy mulching.

      Omar

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  4. I love the color next to your stone wall!

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  5. It certainly adds splashes of bright colour to the garden. It's a new plant to me.

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    1. This plant should grow quite well in your part of Australia. It's only recently become widely available around here so you might need to start with seeds.

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  6. It's kind of rangy isn't it.

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    1. It does need a trellis since we moved the fence. This is the first year it's grown much.

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  7. Very nice...I am glad I read on, since I first read it as, "Mexican Flame" without the "Vine" part! I knew winter missed you since it decided to outlive it's welcome here, but to have what I thought it was in bloom would be something. Nice contrast to the limestone rock!

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    1. Thanks, DD. I looked it up and the native aniscanthus is sometimes known as 'Mexican Flame' we typically call it 'Flame Acanthus' around here and it is not blooming yet.

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  8. It is a very pretty color and as delicate of a flower, looks good with the rough texture of the wall.

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  9. This is a beautiful flowering vine, and it looks fantastic against your stone wall! Does it continue to bloom throughout the year, assuming it doesn't get frosted?

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    1. Thank you debsgarden.

      The Mexican Flame Vine should bloom most of the year. This is the first chance it has had to grow and bloom since I planted it we have had two years of drought and two really cold winters with hard freezes and snow. It might slow down in the heat of August, I'll post about it again so we can all see how it does.

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  10. So pretty! For the past two winters, mine have not returned, so I continue to treat it as an annual in Austin.

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    1. Thanks Pam, there have been a couple of questions from Austin about it so this should help answer those.

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