Sandpaper Vine First Flowering (Petrea Volubilis)

Today, DH called out excitedly claiming she might be seeing flower buds on the Sandpaper Vine. The Sandpaper Vine is also known as Purple Wreath or Queen's Wreath and with the scientific name Petrea volubilis.

Purple Wreath's Unusual New Growths

It sounded like big news because ever since we planted this vine, it hasn't flowered yet. I wasn't too excited though since I've not seen anything unusual with the Sandpaper vine in the past few days.

Anyway, I went out of the house to see what she was hollering about. She was on the tall aluminum ladder and pointed to one of the nodes on a branch high on the trellis canopy. I was on the ground looking up and there was nothing that would indicate that they were flower buds - at least not to me.

I told her they might just be the leaf buds that ordinarily come out near the nodes and become new shoots. She got down the ladder but still hopeful on how those "new growths" would turn out. Encircled in yellow in the photo below are what she was pointing out.

A few minutes later when I was out in the garden, I decided to climb up the ladder for a closer look. Well, there was nothing too remarkable about these new growths other than they looked hairy-like as she described them earlier.

To me though, that peculiarity wasn't enough. In my experience, new growths that turn out to be flowers should have some roundish features. Think something that look like grains of rice on a stalk.

Purple Wreath Vine Flower Buds Look Like What

But how do the flower buds of the Petrea Volubilis or Purple Wreath Vine really look like? Since I wanted to know if those new growth were the real deal, I searched the internet for clues.

Here's one from Typicalgardener. Do you see the roundish or oval features of the buds? Doesn't the image remind you of rice or wheat grains on a stalk?

The photo above though is the young raceme of a sandpaper vine whose flowers are white in color (Petrea volubilis var. Albiflora). This White Queen's Wreath is a rarer variety of the Sandpaper vine.

Excitement Over the Purple Wreath's New Growths

So now I know how the Purple Wreath's flower buds are supposed to look like. The next day I climbed the ladder again to see if the hairy-like new growths have changed.

Nope, they're still the same. From the looks of them, they apparently are slow-growing. I don't think they would be transforming into something more recognizable until maybe two weeks more.

Purple Wreath's First Raceme

Since I now have an idea on how the Queen's wreath flower buds should look like, I looked further into the nodes of the other branches of the vine. Nothing similar to my mental picture appeared on the top branches and new shoots of the vine.

As I was going down the ladder, I looked to my right and saw this!

Yes, it's the Purple Wreath vine's first cluster of flowers! You can easily discern that my vine would be giving out the purple-colored Queen's Wreath flowers.

(See Part 2 - Queen's Wreath Flower Development)

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