Monday, February 25, 2013
Hairy Clustervine - Jacquemontia tamnifolia
Hairy clustervine (Jacquemontia tamnifolia) is a pioneer species most likely to be found in disturbed sites nearly anywhere in Florida. It also occurs throughout the Southeast and north to the southern Midwest. This is a sprawling annual vine, likely to root at regular intervals where it comes into contact with bare soil.
Plants emerge in early spring and grow quickly. It sometimes masses into clumps that can reach several feet across and more than 1 foot tall. It also sends runners out in all directions, each up to 12 feet long. As those stems root, they form additional clumps. The foliage is heart shaped. Each leaf is about 1 inch across and 2 inches long.
Flowering occurs during the summer. Clusters of buds form on the stems at the axils of the leaves. From these, sky-blue flowers open - a few at a time each day for several weeks. As this is a morning glory, the blooms do not last long; never more than a single day. Eventually, the pollinated flowers form small capsules, and the clusters of these take on a somewhat fuzzy appearance.
Hairy clustervine produces beautiful flowers, but the plant's somewhat weedy appearance and its definite weedy nature do not lend itself well to cultivation in a home landscape, and because it is an annual it would only prosper in settings where some disturbance or bare soil was present. I do not recommend it for a mixed wildflower garcen, even on a trellis. Other, less weedy clustervines, are grown commercially and are better behaved.