The Q&A Archives: Plant Difference

Question: I would like to know the difference between Cypress Vine and Cardinal Vine. Iwas raised in the south, and my Mother had Cypress Vine that just reseeded itself every year. Now I live in the high desert region of Oregon and all I've ever been able to find was Cardinal Vine and I haven't been all that sucessful with it. Any hints about the difference and any tips for growing either one here?

Answer: Cypress Vine and Cardinal Climber are the common names of the plant Ipomoea quamoclit. Whatever common name you call it, it's still a summer annual, and it may self-sow, but there are no guarentees that it will. The seeds need scarification prior to germinating, which can be accomplished by gently notching the seed coat with a knife or a file. If your plant is not reseeding itself, it could be that the winters you experience in Oregon are colder than those in your Mother's garden in the South. You can harvest seed from your Cardinal Climber, store it indoors during the winter months, and sow the saved seed in your garden the following spring. Cardinal Climber seeds should be nicked, then soaked in warm water for 2 hours. Sow the seeds outdoors after soaking, placing them 1/2" deep and 6"-8" apart in soil amended with organic matter. Hope this helps clear the confusion!

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