October 14, 2015

What a perfect name for this beautiful late summer blooming vine. The elegant Antigonon leptopus or Queen’s Wreath (also called Coral Vine) is one of those show-stopping plants that has likely caused near automobile accidents when you happen upon a stunning display of the bright pink clusters.

The rich, green, heart-shaped leaves seem to luxuriate in the excessive summer heat and provide a striking backdrop to the pink blooms. This Mexico native self-climbs by means of tendrils and quickly covers trellises or arbors, providing welcome shade to your landscape in summer. While Queen’s Wreath can flower intermittently, it blooms heaviest in mid or late summer into fall.

When this plant is in full bloom, it attracts many pollinators including bees. Keep in mind that bees are rarely a threat when they are foraging for nectar, and that we need to support pollinators for the health of our local ecosystems. As an added bonus, the flower clusters, which are tipped with a curling tendril, are stunning in flower arrangements.

Queens Wreath Water Use It Wisely

Queen’s Wreath tolerates heat and adds amazing late summer color to your landscape.

This vine thrives on full sun and heat. The established vines are drought tolerant and perform well by soaking the root zone every three to four weeks in summer. Provide a trellis, arbor or other structure to support the vine. The vine dies back to the ground when temperatures drop below freezing, but rapid regrowth occurs in the spring. Because of this, plant in a location where you are looking for summer shade but winter sun.

While most Queen’s Wreath are a light shade of pink, there is a dark pink, almost red, selection sold as “Baja Red.” You may also occasionally find a white flowering form.

Did you know that up to 70% of water use is outdoors? That’s why we love desert plants and feature them each month. Fall is a great time to plant, and you can learn more about Queen’s Wreath and other plants on our Arizona Low-Water-Use Plants page. Visit our page on Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants for tips on plant selection and how to plant properly.

Donna DiFrancesco is a Conservation Specialist with the City of Mesa, AZ, one of fifteen Water – Use It Wisely partners to offer water-saving advice and programs. Photos in this blog provided by Donna DiFrancesco.