Fragrant Snail Vine

Vigna caracalla 'Thomas Jefferson'

A highly fragrant, fast growing summer blooming vine with curled flowers resembling a snail's shell, in distinctive shades of lavender, white and creamy yellow. Twining habit is perfect for covering unsightly walls or fences. Sets pods after bloom; dried seed may be planted the following season. Often confused with the species Phaseolus (Vigna) caracalla, which has lesser fragrance.
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Full sun, Partial sun

Needs regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

We no longer grow this plant

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Botanical PronunciationVIG-nuh kar-uh-KAL-uh
LoreOn April 1, 1792, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Hawkins about the Vigna caracalla, saying "The most beautiful bean in the world is the caracalla bean which, though in England a green-house plant, will grow in the open air in Virginia and Carolina."
Average Size at MaturityTwining stems 15 to 20 ft. long.
Bloom TimePurple flowers infused with white and creamy yellow, summer to early fall
Deciduous/ EvergreenSemi-evergreen
Flower AttributeFragrant, Showy Flowers
Flower ColorPurple
Foliage ColorGreen
Garden StyleCottage, Rustic, Tropical
Growth RateFast
Landscape UseContainer, Espalier, Coastal Exposure
Light NeedsFull sun, Partial sun
Special FeatureEasy Care
Water NeedsModerate
Watering NeedsNeeds regular watering - weekly, or more often in extreme heat.

Provide well drained soil. Thrives in warm, humid conditions. Provide support such as a trellis or arbor. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Apply a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.

This Plant's Growing Zones: 10-11

Your USDA Cold Hardiness Zone:

Your climate may be too cold for this plant