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Balloonvine, Heartseed
Cardiospermum corindum
Sapindaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also butterfly gardens in the upper Florida Keys.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

Grows along the edges of coastal hammocks, but may become too aggressive during early stages of restoration.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Climbing vine with tendrils.
Dimensions:
N/A; a vine with stems to 10 ft or more in length.
Growth Rate:
Fast.
Range:
Monroe and Miami-Dade counties; West Indies, Texas, Mexico, Central America and South America. In the Monroe County Keys, very rare or extirpated south of Plantation Key and apparently absent from the lower Keys.
Habitats:
Coastal hammocks.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone soils, with humusy top layer.
Nutritional Requirements:
Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
White.
Flower Characteristics:
Semi-showy.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Inflated, papery capsule; seeds with a heart-shaped hilum.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for Miami blue (Hemiargus thomasi) and silver-banded hairstreak (Chlorostrymon simaethis) butterflies; occasional larval host for gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seed.
Comments:
Recruits readily in the garden from seed.


 


Roger L. Hammer
George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida, 2013
George D. Gann
Kristen Finch
Cultivated plant, Palm Beach County, Florida, 2013
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley