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Devil’s-potato, Rubbervine
Echites umbellatus

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, 2012

General Landscape Uses: Vine on trellises and fences. Wildflower and rock gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: Relatively common in pine rocklands and coastal uplands along the east coast.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Clambering or climbing vine.

Dimensions: N/A; a vine with stems 5 feet or more in length.

Growth Rate: Moderate to fast.

Range: Monroe County north along the east coast to Brevard County; West Indies, southern Mexico and northern Central America.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Pine rocklands, hammock edges and coastal thickets.

Soils: Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to low; it prefers soils with organic content, but will still grow reasonably well in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: High; can tolerate moderate amounts of salt wind without significant injury.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: All year; peak in summer.

Fruit: Paired slender pods that open on one side, 6-8" long. Dispersal is by wind.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host for native moths, including the oleander moth (or polka dot wasp moth; Syntomeida epilais), tetrio sphinx moth (Pseudosphinx tetrio), and Uncle Sam moth (or faithful beauty; Composia fidelissima). For an excellent article by George Rogers on devil’s-potato as a host for moths, visit the Treasure Coast Natives blog.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seeds. For excellent and detailed information on Devil’s-potato propagation, see Fairchild Tropical Garden's Connect To Protect fact sheet.

References: Miami-Dade County Landscape Manual (2005).

Comments: An attractive vining wildflower. See a 2018 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on Devil’s-Potato and Its Mimectic Moths.

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, 2012

Copyright by: George D. Gann

Copyright by: George D. Gann
in habitat, Everglades National Park, 2012

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Echites umbellatus available from:

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