June 23, 2017

Crazy Corkscrew

Vigna caracalla - snail flower

Credit: Teclasorg | Wikimedia Commons - Vigna caracalla - snail flower

THE WEEKEND EDITION (So big it covers two days)

This warm-weather wonder might make it as a houseplant in Maine, since it doesn’t really like temperatures below 60 degrees. Vigna caracalla is in the bean family, and the caracalla in its name means it’s from Caracas, Venezuela. Also known as snail flower and corkscrew vine, this tender vine produces snail-shaped blooms, fragrant in some hybrids, that form tight clusters. The pollinated flowers produce beanlike seedpods if the conditions are right: full sunshine, damp soil and high heat and humidity. Give it that and it might even become invasive. Just not in Maine.