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Corkscrew Flower

Vigna caracalla

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Corkscrew Flower (Vigna caracalla) at Roger's Gardens

Corkscrew Flower flowers

Corkscrew Flower flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9a

Other Names:  Snail Flower, Corkscrew Vine, Cochliasanthus


A rapidly growing, twining vine that is evergreen in frost free climates; unique white and lilac-purple spirally twisted flowers that look like snail shells, on long racemes from summer until fall; may be aggressive in warm areas

Ornamental Features

Corkscrew Flower features unusual racemes of fragrant lilac purple recurved flowers with white overtones rising above the foliage from mid summer to mid fall. Its pointy compound leaves remain green in color throughout the year. The fruits are showy green pods displayed from late summer to late fall.

Landscape Attributes

Corkscrew Flower is an herbaceous evergreen perennial vine with a twining and trailing habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting birds and butterflies to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Corkscrew Flower is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

Corkscrew Flower will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. As a climbing vine, it should either be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America..

Corkscrew Flower is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Screening  Garden  Container  Basket 
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features