Vigna caracalla, a climbing plant with snail-shaped flowers

Vigna caracalla ( Phaseolus caracalla ) also known as royal snail, royal snail, snails, snail flower, friar’s gut, corkscrew flower or snail vine. It belongs to the Fabaceae family, which includes the known legumes. Being native to Central America to South America.

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Characteristics of the Vigna caracalla

Vigorous tropical climbing plant  with fickle stems that is fast growing. Of a height of 6 m.

The leaves are trifoliate without tendrils, bright green, narrow, rough, elongated that end in a point.

The flowers are large, fragrant, hanging, twisted banner and the keel that coils in a spiral in the shape of a snail, they are pink-purple, white or pale yellow. It blooms in early summer.

The seeds are flattened, brown in color that are contained in a long, narrow, straight or curved pod.

Caring for the Vigna caracalla

A plant that was very popular, but is rarely cultivated today. It is ideal to place it in pergolas, fences, or, in pots for balconies (for the latter it requires a support to be able to grip).

If it is kept in cold areas, its behavior will be annual, that is, it will lose the external part as the cold intensifies. Then it will begin its development cycle at the beginning of the spring season.

It requires being in full sun or semi-shade. But as long as it enjoys high humidity in the soil.

Watering must be moderate, but taking care not to flood.

It does not usually present problems with pests or diseases.

It multiplies by means of seeds, cuttings or layering. For the seed, you should put 2 or 3 seeds previously sanded in water for 3 days. When they double in size, sow in a warm place so that they take root.

Perhaps, little is known about it or you have rarely seen it, but there is no doubt that it frames a great beauty. So if you have the possibility, do not hesitate to buy this great copy.

Now that if you have the Vigna caracalla , give us a few tips to keep it in the garden.

Images courtesy of: Eran FinkleAlex Lomas

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