Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spanish Flag, Firecracker Vine, Exotic Love Vine
Ipomoea lobata

Family: Convolvulaceae (kon-volv-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ipomoea (ip-oh-MEE-a) (Info)
Species: lobata (low-BAH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Mina lobata
Synonym:Ipomoea versicolor
Synonym:Quamoclit lobata

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

69 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Vines and Climbers

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 51 photos.
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15 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MCatherineL On Oct 27, 2013, MCatherineL from Covington, LA wrote:

I've planted the Spanish Flag Vine for the past 3 - 4 years in South Louisiana. It always comes back beautifully. This year, I planted a few seeds next to a crepe myrtle and when the leaves on the crepe dropped off, there was Spanish Flag Vine. Now in Oct. the vines are just gorgeous!!

Positive GrampaMark On Oct 26, 2013, GrampaMark from Lowell, MA wrote:

The flowers are beautiful, purchased on a whim in the spring to blend in with my morning glory's. Hope I can find the seeds again in 2014. Not flowering long enough here to get seeds. Love them!!

Positive kidmelony On Oct 23, 2013, kidmelony from Salem, MA wrote:

Beautiful fall flowers here in Massachusetts. I planted three small plants in June and they did take a while to get started up my trellis, but once they got going, they didn't stop. My other Ipomoea varieties had already bloomed and I thought that these weren't going to make it before the cold here. They started blooming two weeks ago and I couldn't be happier with the abundance and uniqueness of the flowers.

Positive nathanieledison On Aug 10, 2013, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm exotically in love with this vine! It asks for water once (sometimes twice, if hot) a day, but indeed looks incredible in any setting. I've never fertilized it, and it's in moderately sandy soil around a telephone pole. Don't tell CalTrans. This one plant got me started on annuals and I can't wait to plant more next year! Truly a winner!!

Positive selvahombre On Aug 1, 2013, selvahombre from San Diego, CA wrote:

This plant is awesome. Not sure why its not more common. Started blooming July in San Diego. I don't get frost, so we will see how long it blooms and what it does next year. This is a beautiful unique plant. I highly recommend.

Positive CPAgain On Jul 15, 2011, CPAgain from Stanton, MI wrote:

We bought our potted Firecracker vine at a green house. It is on our patio and is doing wonderful. It was about 3' tall when we brought it home in May and has climbed to over 10' and is still growing. I have already harvest some of the seeds and will try to start them next spring.
Since we live in Michigan we are going to try cutting the plant back and bringing it in this fall and see if we can keep it alive through winter.

Neutral noshoooz On Apr 11, 2011, noshoooz from Kailua, HI wrote:

Hi...I live in Hawaii and have had the firecracker vine in my courtyard for about a month now. It seems quite happy. However, I am moving soon to a house directly on the beach and wonder if it does well near salt. Where I am now is quite a ways from salt spray. Any thoughts?

Positive hortulaninobili On Jan 19, 2011, hortulaninobili from St. Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Ipomoea lobata syn. Mina lobata:

A very easy to grow plant from seed. Seed can be started in small pots early in the spring and transplanted out as soon as frost threat abates, or planted in final position in the garden and will do equally well. Once planted (or germinated and plant begins to grow), firecracker vine/Spanish flag will grow rapidly and takes well to heat and humidity. Too much fertilizer, water, or too rich a soil may contribute to the plant growing vegetative and luxuriously at the expense of flowers. In my region (center of the country) Spanish flag begins to flower late summer, through autumn, and until hard frost.

Hummingbirds have a ravenous appetite for the nectar in the flowers. It seems that the hummingbirds all think this--among others--is their plant: I have observed they are not very given to sharing and chase each other away to indulge in the ephemeral nectar-drinking binge (also witnessed with salvias, trumpet creeper, honeysuckle, African lion's tail).

Not at all cold-hardy in my locale. Best if allowed to grow up a trellis, arbor, pergola, fence, or similar. Because of firecracker vine's boldness and warm color, tends to look best alone or with lush tropical plants such as canna, elephant ear, castor bean, lantana, or similar. No observation of serious disease or pests.

Neutral cattypuss On Oct 17, 2010, cattypuss from Melbourne
Australia wrote:

I have been fortunate enough to obtain a dozen seeds from a friend who is a real "plantaholic" like me. All twelve have germinated and are now planted out in the garden. I can't wait to see them flower, this plant is not widely available down here in southern Australia, I saw it for the first time in a trial garden last season and had to track it down. Maybe mine will start something!

Positive GreginColorado On Oct 12, 2010, GreginColorado from Greeley, CO wrote:

I bought some seeds and planted them after soaking overnight, into a 15 week, late for the growing season, flower bed. It was a slow go at first and I thought they wouldn't make it. Seemed to take forever to get them out of the ground, even in the direct Sun they were growing in. Plenty of water too.

They have been blooming now for nearly three weeks and I am so pleased! What a bright and shining specimen of a plant to have growing on my fence posts. I'm hoping to gather seed, but so far, even the dried seed pods seem to be absent of any seed. Might be the late start in the season and or not enough pollinators? Anyway, I will have this in my garden from now on! I live in Greeley, Colorado and it will frost tonight, so will cover my vines and see if I can still get some seeds after Oct 12, 2010.

Positive nrandel On Aug 27, 2010, nrandel from Dublin, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I cut down a messy magnolia but left a 10 foot stump thinking I would plant a vine to climb it - I picked the Exotic Love Vine, Mina Lobata. It didn't climb the stump but spread out in a low shrub fashion; perhaps I should have helped it along by tieing it up. But, it's beautiful, very hardy in hot Roanoke, VA sunshine and the hummers love it.

Neutral terrora On Jan 3, 2010, terrora wrote:

Hi, bought three of these at the L.B.Gardens in Oct and they were all doing great. They now look like the frost may have done them in, but I'm hoping being like a morning glory they will all come back hardy in the spring. All three are in pots, one in San Francisco and two are here in Vacaville, CA Please tell me they will come back, they are so lovely and I would like to harvest the seeds for more.

Positive mswestover On Oct 2, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Grows easily from seed, blooms in Oct-Nov in zone 9a. Climbs a trellis in no time. Hummingbirds flock to it.

Neutral EllieMaGoo On Aug 29, 2009, EllieMaGoo from Pittsburgh, PA wrote:

I forget how many seeds were in the pack. Maybe 7 grew, though a couple got eaten by a groundhog. The remaining plants grew into a very nice vine, though it could thicker. I saw that the seeds are poisonous. Should I be careful to keep my dog away from them?

Positive robcorreia On Oct 6, 2008, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is truly stunning vine! Very easy from seeds too.
I would like to add that it can go much higher than stated above. Mine has climbed to the top of a 25ft palm tree!

Positive rosary83 On Sep 27, 2008, rosary83 from Wyandotte, MI wrote:

This is my first year of planting spanish flag . It took forever to start but once it did it grew fast. Hummingbirds are super attracted to it. I am looking forward to having it in my garden for many years. This plant is grown in Wyandotte Michigan

Positive SueP64 On Aug 7, 2003, SueP64 from Centerbrook, CT wrote:

This vine thrives in full sun and is quite an eyecatcher. We planted it in pots along with chartreuse coleus, dark purple coleus, purple salvia (annual), feathery celosia, sweet potato (tricolor) and dusty miller. The effect is stunning. With 12 24" pots filled to the brim and a pastoral background that includes a waterfall, it makes a picture perfect setting.
We've had numerous requests for information on this vine. It's hard to believe that something so exotic can thrive in our fickle New England summers.

Positive Cactus_Joe On Jan 8, 2003, Cactus_Joe from Vancouver
Canada wrote:

This is a vigorous vine. Slow to start off with while the soil is still cool, once warmed up late in spring, it can completely cover an 8 foot tall pillar in no time. The numerous unusual and spectacular flowers are long lasting. It blooms right through till first frost. In locations where frost hits before the end of October, there may not be enough time for the seeds to ripen. The neatest thing about it as a vine is a characteristics it shares with other annual morning glories - the vines decay quickly and are easy to remove once the plant packs it in in the fall. It looked good combined with Cobaea scandens - they seem to coexist well together on the same structure.

Positive mystic On Aug 25, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Related to the morning glory, sometimes called 'Firecracker Vine' or 'Exotic Love'. This unusual annual vine has up to 12 beautiful 2" tubular flowers on each spike, that change color as they enlarge and open from crimson red to yellowy-orange to creamy yellow. The leaves may remind you of sweet potato vine.It's easy to grow, and excellent on a trellis, fence or in a hanging basket. Also makes a great cut flower.I didn't realize this plant attracted hummingbirds until today. I have watched the hummers on the vine all afternoon. Started out with just one and as the afternoon progressed there where at least five at one given time.So this for sure is a plant that attracts hummers.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Alabaster, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Phenix City, Alabama
Flagstaff, Arizona
Yarnell, Arizona
Amesti, California
Arroyo Grande, California
Benicia, California
Citrus Heights, California
Fairfield, California
Fresno, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Merced, California
Richmond, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Clara, California
Santa Rosa, California
Stockton, California
Archer, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Yulee, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Kailua, Hawaii
Indianapolis, Indiana
Barbourville, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Covington, Louisiana (2 reports)
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Lowell, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts
Stanton, Michigan
Wyandotte, Michigan
Mantachie, Mississippi
Mount Vernon, Missouri
O Fallon, Missouri
Manchester, New Hampshire
New Milford, New Jersey
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Averill Park, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Greensboro, North Carolina
Spencer, North Carolina
Columbia Station, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
West Chester, Pennsylvania
North Augusta, South Carolina
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Westmoreland, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Oakhurst, Texas
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Arlington, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Pewaukee, Wisconsin

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