Most of the hundreds of different types of flowering vines are native to hot and humid tropical areas, but have been introduced into temperate and subtropical climates. Nearly all flowering vines are fast growing, self-seeding, and easy to care for. They are often used to cover fences, create a privacy screen, or they can be used as a ground cover. Their beautiful flowers may give the impression that these vines are harmless; however, many of them have dangerous thorns or are poisonous to humans and animals. A few of the more common flowering vines include paper flower and morning glory
Bougainvillea glabra, also known as paper flower or four-o-clock, is a genus of flowering vines in the Nyctaginaceae family. It is native to South America and the tropics, but can now be found in Florida, California, parts of Australia, and southeast Asia. All bougainvillea species thrive in U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zones nine through 11.
Summer to fall, bougainvillea produces large purple or pink flowers. Foliage is evergreen and has a smooth texture. Bougainvillea plants prefer full sun and rich soil with good drainage. The optimal pH level of the soil is acidic to mildly acidic. Plants in this genus are fast growing and may reach 10 feet (3 m) tall. In the wild, these plants have been known to grow up to 40 feet (12 m) tall.
Some species of flowering vine in this genus have very sharp thorns. Homeowners may use thorny bougainvillea plants as a barrier to keep unwanted people and animals from their properties. Bougainvillea produces sap that can cause an itchy skin rash similar to poison ivy. When working with this plant, it is important to take proper precautions to avoid being injured.
Ipomoea, or morning glory, is one of about 50 genera and 1000 species in the Convolvulaceae family. It is native to the tropics, but can now be found in Mexico, North America, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Morning glory plants grow best in USDA Hardiness Zones three to ten.
From mid-summer to early fall, morning glory flowering vines produce intensely-colored, saucer-shaped blooms about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. All species in this genus have evergreen, heart-shaped leaves that are 4 to 5 inches (10-13 cm) long. Morning glory prefers full sun and well-drained soil. They grow best in soil that has a mildly acidic, neutral or mildly alkaline pH level. These flowering vines will grow up to 12 feet (3.6 m) tall in just over two months time.
Some gardeners use morning glory to quickly cover arbors or fencing. Other people consider morning glory an invasive species and try their best to rid their gardens of it. The seeds of the morning glory contain poisonous hallucinogenics. Gardeners planting morning glory should be aware that the seeds can induce an LSD-like trip and/or cause miscarriage when ingested.