Vigna Caracalla or better known as Corkscrew Vine, Snail Vine or Caracalla Bean belongs to the Fabaceae family. This tropical climber is well-worth growing even if it is just for her look! And as a bonus, it is attractive to bees, butterfly and the birds.
This twining vine is an ideal plant to grow if you want to cover a vast fence. While it is a bit slow in its first year, it takes off vigorously after that and will quickly hide any eyesore. In early summer it can grow 30 cm a day! Once it has reached the extent of the area that you want it to cover, cut the leaves and tendrils back and it will flower profusely. As long as the tendrils are running it won't set much flower. The vine can grow 15 to 20 feet long.
The Caracalla is a very curious blooming plant. The spirally twisted flowers are white-colored as they unfurl, turning lilac as they blossom out into little snail-shaped blooms. As they age and fall, they turn cream-colored. The flowers are quite fragrant and are mostly pollinated by ants - if you have no ants, you'll have no pods and therefore no seeds. The masses of flowers will bloom all summer until frost.
This evergreen vine has smooth-textured leaves attached to long petioles. They are alternates, pinnate with three leaflets.
Hardiness Zones :
9–11(-5c/25f, 4c/40f) The Snail vine thrives on any hot exposed site, in clay or loam soil and even on quite alkaline sites. It is almost deciduous in southern Australia, shooting each spring from a permanent root or stump. A single plant can be kept for at least 10 years in one spot, with not much more attention than clipping the tendrils back in November-December. That will induce it to flower from January through to March. The plant can be over wintered indoors, prune it back and treat it like a houseplant. Just remember to bring it in before the first frost!