Jade Vine Facts
- Its highly unique nature ranks as the most noteworthy fact about the gorgeous Jade Vine. The magnificent beauty of this plant conceals the point that it’s actually a legume. Botanists list them as closely related to beans such as the runner bean and kidney bean.
- While the seed pods of the species remain technically edible, the Jade Vine is not used for consumption. Due to the sheer beauty of the flowers, cultivators grow it mostly as an ornamental species.
- The IUCN does not have an official classification of the species, yet many experts consider it endangered due to its limited range and the threats it faces. These primarily include habitat loss and climate change.
- Finally, the species harbors yet another unusual distinction. Unlike the majority of flowering plants, a specific bat species forms the primary pollination of this species. Certain butterfly species also play a small role in its pollination.
Jade Vine Physical Description
The bright and beautiful Jade Vine grows as a perennial vine that also doubles as a legume. The strong and fast-growing vines can attain lengths of as much as 59 ft (18 m).
They cling to and climb on anything they encounter, which primarily consists of trees in their native environment. The leaves have a pale green color and consist of three leaflets.
When these leaves fall, they turn to either a dark blue or purple. The seed pods rarely exceed 6 in (15 cm) in length and contain up to 15 seeds.
Yet the flowers understandably garner the most attention. The claw-shaped blooms hang in trusses consisting of as many as 75 flowers. Furthermore, these trusses can reach lengths of as much as 9.8 ft (3 m).
Species: S. macrobotrys
Jade Vine Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Since the stunning Jade Vine grows natively only in the Philippines, their habitat remains quite restricted. Even there they only occur naturally in regions of montane and tropical forests. They appear most commonly either beside streams or in ravines, the latter for unknown reasons.
They have also been transplanted to a few other regions, including South Africa. In addition, the species has a strong presence in greenhouses and botanical gardens worldwide.
Generally, a mature vine requires about two years to flower and produce fruit. The plant grows prolifically in its native habitat, yet remains difficult to propagate in cultivation.