Mexican Butterfly Vine
We collected this plant on our travels through Baja California. This unusual plant is native to Mexico from central Baja California and on the mainland from Sonora south throughout much of Mexico. It is commonly called butterfly pea vine, yellow orchid vine, or gallinita. Mascagnia macroptera is an evergreen vine that climbs by twining stems bearing dark green, linear leaves. Beginning in late spring, this vine produces clusters of showy yellow 5 petaled 1-inch wide orchid-shaped flowers followed by papery, winged chartreuse seed pods that turn tan. This fruit resembles a green to brown butterfly, hence the common name Butterfly Vine". A second flowering will often occur in fall. This aggressive heat-loving vine can climb 15 to 20 feet up a trellis or fence or without support it will twine on itself, growing in a mound which can be kept pruned to a shrub or groundcover. Plant in full or part sun and although it is a moderately drought tolerant plant once established, it will be more lush with regular watering from late spring through fall. Plants are cold hardy and evergreen to the mid-20's F. If grown in cooler climates this plant is considered deciduous if frozen to the ground in as cold of locations as USDA Zone 8, will often re-sprout from the base but late frosts delay flowering. This plant is native in Mexico from central Baja California and on the mainland from Sonora south throughout much of Mexico. It is commonly called butterfly pea vine, yellow orchid vine, or gallinita. Sold in quart containers.