Q: My friend brought me this beautiful vine from south Florida. She says it has clusters of purple flowers on it from late spring through the fall. What can you tell me about it?
A: This plant identification would have been difficult had you not brought a sample to the office – especially since it was not blooming at the time. The plant is commonly called Queen’s wreath or Sandpaper vine, Petrea volutbilis. According to Dr. Ed Gilman, professor, UF/IFAS, this plant is a fast growing vine which originated from the Caribbean. It is a vine with a similar overall look of Chinese wisteria when viewed from a distance. The leaves are rough to the touch which is where one of its common names was derived. Queen’s wreath also comes in a pure white flowered variety. This plant is a true tropical, belonging to cold hardiness zones 10-11. This means the vine should be grown only in the southern most parts of Florida although it is possible for it to survive here in some isolated areas. Therefore, please be careful about planting Queen’s wreath in areas around wildlife preserves and conservation greenways as it can become weedy and in some cases it is considered invasive. http://hort.ufl.edu/shrubs/PETVOLA.PDF