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The Botanical Garden Val Rahmeh - Menton (Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh - Menton) is open every day except tuesdays.

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Pétrée (Petrea volubilis) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura
Pétrée (Petrea volubilis) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura

Queen’s wreath

This beautiful climbing plant, Petrea volubilis, is native to Central America. At Val Rahmeh, it has its perfect spot on the façade of the main villa. It boasts numerous violet star-shaped flowers and has two blossoms, one in June and the other in September.

Identity Card

Common name
Queen’s wreath, Purple wreath, Sandpaper vine
Binominal name
Petrea volubilis L.

Taxonomy

Kingdom
Plantae
Family
Verbenaceae
Synonyms
Petrea arborea Kunth; Petrea aspera Turcz.

Detailed Informations

Area of origin
Mexico through Central America

Etymology

The genus Petrea is named after Lord R.J. Petre, famed eighteenth century tropical plant collector. Volubilis means “twining”.

Description and flowering period

This grey-barked vine reaches 10 meters in height. Without support it can be grown into a rounded shrub. Its persistent opposite leaves are elliptical with slightly toothed margins. The spectacular clusters of lavender to deep purple flowers can reach over 30cm long. They are nectariferous and are thus particularly attractive to butterflies. Individual flowers are composed of a calyx bearing 5 narrow, elongated lavender sepals and the corolla has fused petals which end in 5 rounded lobes. The corolla is smaller than the calyx and is generally a much darker shade of purple. It falls quickly, whilst the fairly persistent sepals are the reason for the species’ ornamental value.

Habitat

It thrives in a warm relatively humid environment (approaching tropical conditions). Older subjects can tolerate drought, sea-sprays and light frosts of -1°C to -2°C.

Uses

Ornamental.

Notes

A white-flowered cultivar exists. It can be found under the name Petrea volubilis ‘Alba’.

Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN

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