Burma Creeper, Chinese Honeysuckle, Rangoon Creeper
Rangoon Creeper is an extremely spectacular vine that blooms throughout the year in Florida’s tropical heat. When in full bloom, it is covered with large trusses of tricolored flowers that are very showy and pleasantly scented.
The flowers have many variations of color, depending on how old the flowers are. Over about a 3 day period the flowers starts out white, turn solid pink then dark pink and purplish red, then bright red on maturity.
The name is from the Latin quis, “who”, and qualis, “what”. This name was given by the early botanist Georg Eberhard Rumphius as an expression of his surprise at the variability of the plant’s growth and flower color.
Common Name: Burma Creeper, Chinese Honeysuckle, Rangoon Creeper
Botanical Name: Quisqualis indica
Family: Combretaceae (Indian Almond / White Mangrove family)
Plant Type: Evergreen, branching climber
Origin: Tropical Africa, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia
Zones: 9 – 11
Height: 10′ – 40′ or more
Rate of Growth: Quick
Salt Tolerance: Medium
Soil Requirements: Rich, moist, well-drained soil
Water Requirements: Water freely during growing season, less water in winter
Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly
Light Requirements: Full sun with some mid-day shade
Form: Freely branching perennial climber — give it a very sturdy arch, wall or fence to climb. Plant is shrubby in youth from a seed becoming a climbing vine as it ages or from the beginning with cutting propagated stock.
Leaves: Mid to deep-green to 8″ long
Flowers: In Summer bears slender-tubed, fragrant flowers, 1.5 – 3″ long with 5 spreading lobes, in pendent, terminal racemes, 4″ long, initially white, they change to pink, purplish red, then bright red over a 3 day period.
Fruits: Small dry drupe-like seed with five angles and five wings
Pests: Aphids, scale insects and caterpillars
Uses: Lush rapidly growing lustrous green foliage with pendent clusters of pink or red flowers throughout much of the growing season; nighttime fragrance. Large patio container or conservatory plant; works well on arbors, trellises, pillars, arches, sturdy fences and pergolas or as an espalier.
Bad Habits: Rangoon Creeper’s vigorous growth can get quite out-of-hand on fertile sites. ** Be sure that fence, pergola, arbor or other that you intend to grow Quisqualis on will be able to support its weight as it grows and matures. ** Winter die-back can be expected in colder parts of its range.
Cost: $$ — reasonable
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings, suckers
Other: Quisqualis indica is used for traditional medicine in its native lands. Leaves are used to relieve pain caused by fever while the roots are used treat rheumatism. Read more at Wikipedia and Philippine Medicinal Plants on its traditional uses.
Sources: AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS