We at Richard Lyons’ Nursery never cease to be amazed over the arcane logic behind the common names of plants. Just recently we learned that Swiss Chard is native to . . . the Mediterranean. And today we were driven into an even deeper funk by news that the beautiful Hawaiian Sunset Vine hails from tropical Africa! Obviously, figuring out this profound mystery is beyond our pay grade, so we’ll just concentrate on describing what is indisputably a very nice plant that you might want to add to your garden.
Under any name, Stictocardia beraviensis is an eye-catching vine. Its leaves alone are impressive; heart-shaped and velvety to the touch, they are about 6 in. wide grown in full sun and double that size grown in shade. Add to that the spectacular flowers, bright crimson cups with orange and yellow highlights framed by darker crimson stripes.
And that’s not all. The blooms are scented and appear on and off throughout the year. Moreover, Hawaiian Sunset Vine attracts birds and butterflies. It will still flower when grown in shade, but is more prolific in full-sun settings. It is not demanding, but grows best when given ample water and good drainage. It can even tolerate light freezes. This excellent species is available at Richard Lyons’ Nursery in 3-gal. containers.