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Seed of the Week: Cardinal Climber

Our mystery seeds from last week are from a plant in the morning glory family. They are from the cardinal climber, Ipomea x multifida.

best-cardinal-climber-flower

The cardinal climber is an annual vine named for its beautiful bright red flowers. With color like this, you just know they are hummingbird favorites.

cardinal-climber-leaf

The leaves have deep lobes that give them a lacy, almost fern-like appearance. Ours seemed to be a bit confused by the Arizona weather, and began flowering in the fall. In cooler climes they bloom in the summer and fall.

cardinal-climber-flower-222The cardinal climber is a human-created plant. It is a cross between the scarlet creeper (Ipomoea hederifolia) and cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit).

Interestingly, most species of morning glories in the genus Ipomoea are prohibited in Arizona as noxious weeds (see list), but cardinal climber is not (#33). It can be invasive in certain areas, so check before you grow it. I also read that the seeds can be poisonous if swallowed.

Have you ever grown cardinal creeper? What did you think of it?

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