Hard to believe how time has flown, but the16th DG annual photo contest has begun! Find the details here. Best wishes to all the entrants!!!

Cup of Gold Vine, Yellow Chalice Vine

Solandra maxima

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Solandra (so-LAN-druh) (Info)
Species: maxima (MAKS-ih-muh) (Info)
Synonym:Solandra hartwegii
Synonym:Solandra nitida
Synonym:Datura maxima
Synonym:Solandra selerae


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Mid Winter



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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


Carlsbad, California

Coronado, California

Escondido, California

Fresno, California

Irvine, California

Lompoc, California

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California (2 reports)

Mission Viejo, California

Napa, California

San Diego, California

Waterford, California

Whittier, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Dade City, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Satellite Beach, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Hilo, Hawaii

Greenwell Springs, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Lucedale, Mississippi

Summerville, South Carolina

Brookshire, Texas

Freeport, Texas

Houston, Texas

Laredo, Texas

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

Monroe, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 25, 2016, AFinSD from San Diego, CA wrote:

My spouse and I see this plant whenever we visit Balboa Park. There is a very large specimen surrounding and on top of the Photographic Arts building right next to the Spanish Village.

As many times as we've seen it, we always take pictures of the flowers because they are just so photogenic.


On Jul 25, 2016, Anna_Z from Monroe, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

I have 2 of these planted in a huge pot. I put a trellis in there and am tying branches to it as they get long enough. I live in zone 4a, so it goes into the greenhouse for the winter. It had several blooms around Mother's day, and has not bloomed since I put it outside for the summer. It has put out quite a bit of new growth since the move to the great outdoors. I have hope it will bloom again before it goes inside. I love this plant and hope that it continues to grow and flower for me for a long time.

I would be VERY leery of planting anything close to a black walnut tree because of the toxin it releases and kills plants. (the walnut tree, not the vine).


On Jul 13, 2016, bevykona from Suisun City, CA wrote:

i have had mine growing in a half wine barrel for about 5 years. it is a vining plant and has started to grow in my trees near its location and over the top of my roof. it blooms when you don't water it for a bit. my flowers are up to 10" across, yellow with maroon stripes. i have it planted in rich soil. in summer i water it daily and feed it with whole fish organic fertilizer and worm droppings. the location is full sun most of the day with shade in the late afternoon. i live on a mountain 12 miles from napa, elevation 1506. i moved this plant from elevation 6 in suisun city, ca. it seems to love where it is now and never bloomed in suisun. it blooms profusely here. we plan to put it in the ground next to a fence and a giant black walnut tree, this fall. mine starts blooming after t... read more


On May 17, 2016, annabramwell from essaouira,
Morocco wrote:

Morocco coastal site, (Atlantic, north of Agadir) never freezes, dry and windy. Bought this plant thinking it was a datura, but saw the amazing flowers were something different. It grew well as a bush for the first two years, flowering regularly, but one at a time. Then it started to climb up between bougainvilleas and rampant scented geranium (7 foot high in this sheltered corner) and this year didnt flower at all. I am going to leave it be and try again in a new walled garden. It doesnt exactly twine/vine, more just sends out long branches. I wondered if it would behave more like a bush if pruned back. My soil is terrible, and very chalky, even tho I improve when I plant and add rotted manure, so I was very pleased that this exotic plant did so well, with its rich green glossy leaves. I... read more


On Mar 6, 2016, KittyVega from Pilar,
Spain wrote:

I planted my solandra maxima in 2014, it is tethered to a metal chain fence and in a fairly exposed spot but it seems to be coping well with strong winds and very hot summers. I had to plant it in a very big terracotta pot because our garden is all rock and little drainage but it seem to be thriving except that this year there is some leaf shedding, however I think that might be because in a pot it needs regular feeding and I might have to up the watering too.


On Feb 11, 2016, glorymorn from Fresno, CA wrote:

I live in the Central valley in Ca.zone 9. Does anyone know if this vine will bloom in a pot? This up coming summer will be my 3rd year in a pot. Looks very healthy and is about 3x3 ft.but hasn't bloomed yet.


On Aug 17, 2014, mdcpost from Escondido, CA wrote:

Keep pruned, agreed it causes irritation on skin from oil produced if branches break. Our plants have given 5 fruits this year. I will not eat or ingest this as it is poison if any plant is in the nightshade family they can kill in concentrated amounts. Think of it as cyanide. Simple stay alive and do not eat it.


On Apr 27, 2013, zanejr from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this plant! I had the green, and still have the variegated one. The green leaf variety has small blooms, while the variegated one has 6-8 inch flowers. They smell like pina colada. Super easy to root. Very easy to grow. Also very expensive.


On Apr 13, 2012, George45 from Perth,
Australia wrote:

I am located in Perth, Western Australia which has a Mediterranean climate of cool wet winters and hot dry summers. The vine is trained over a large pergola measuring 4 metres wide x 10 metres long at the rear of my house and is at least 40 years old. Perfect shade in summer except for one bad habit which I wonder if anyone else has experienced and perhaps has a remedy. After the first period of really hot weather (40 deg Celsius or above) the leaves drop over a period of 2 weeks and then after a month the leaves regrow. Not too bad if the hot weather is unusual very early in late Spring but a bit of a disappointment if mid summer when you need the shade most.


On Apr 9, 2012, NYCtropics from New York, NY wrote:

Really beautiful plant. It grows very fast and does well in pots, at least for a while. Mine did very well in Summer 2010, but barely grew at all this past summer (2011). Im putting it in a huge pot so it has a chance at some good growth. Might cut it back also.
Mine bloomed once indoors , but all I got to see was the dried up flower on the floor. I was very sad, but happy at the same time. At least it bloomed, still wish I got to see it!
Dont grow it for just blooms though because the foliage is beautiful also. People always want to know what this plant is when they see it. And its very easy to start from cuttings, just put a stem in water, wait until you start to see a little root growth, put root tone on the growth, and pot it up for a month or 2 until the roots are matur... read more


On Feb 28, 2012, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Unfortunately, it always flowers in the winter here and blooming is usually disturbed by light frosts. In the Greek islands (zone 10b) things are much better, because it flowers without problems, especially in positions sheltered from the winds.
As a potted plant it doesn't flower well, it only flowers profusely if sown in the ground, where it becomes enormous.


On Aug 20, 2011, ThinkTwice from Iona, FL wrote:

According to the literature I have read, Solandra is a member of the Nightshade family and ALL PARTS OF IT ARE POISONOUS if ingested. Please do not put it in a glass with ice cream or any other food! What is that lady thinking?? Please stop her!

My neighbor here is SW Florida grows this. His has multiple ruffly yellow petals, not simple ones like in the photos. It is blooming profusely in August- our rainy season. He is up north for the summer and does not get to see it.

He said someone gave it to him and he does not even know what it is. I will tell him all about it when he gets back.


On Jul 26, 2010, DavidLJ48 from Waterford, CA wrote:

I live in the hot Central Valley in CA, where mid to high 90s and sometimes over 100F on the average are the norm for summers.

I find that mine tends to stick to the shade under the edge of my plant shade house, covered with white 50% sun reducing polycarbonate sheeting. It could grow out into full sun, but prefers to grow under the polycarbonate.

It has handled the winters here ok, under the polycarbonate sheeting, even with lows down to 28F, preceded with 8 to 8 plus hours below 32F Though this winter, which was milder over all, we had one arctic low in December of 25F, with 8 plus hours below 32F. Well it froze to the ground, it is slowly coming back from the ground. All of the above vine died, except for a small portion of large vine the furtherest unde... read more


On Jan 11, 2010, wylie5525 from Altares, Terciera,
Portugal (Zone 9b) wrote:

This vine can be used on a frame to make a shaded area, but is sensitive to wind burn. It also needs to be controled or it will become very rampant.


On Jul 23, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is my favorite vine. It grows really fast in spring/summer! Almost like it grows 1 foot over night. I love it alot, i fertalize it a lot, and it stays nice and healthy. Nice big scented flowers from around fall-spring for me. Does get some frost damage at 32Degrees, But just seems to affect the leaves and not the vine itself.. Nice conversation piece, likes to be moist, but not wet wet..


On Apr 22, 2005, TropicalLover21 from Santa Maria, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this plant!!!! I live in an area where it gets about 32 degrees at night, and its made it through the winter.. It had a little burning of the leaves, but it picked right up the past few months... It grows very very very fast!!! And the blooms are to die for... I have it on a south facing wall, next to my Clematis vine, they both look very good together!!! Haven't had any pest problems... Easy to grow from cuttings, just let it sit in water for a week, when you see white crystals, then its time to pot up!!! It responds well to the Miracle Gro - Bloom Booster.. Start off fertilizing with that before Christmas, (Almost everytime you water use that!) then keep it going until about May! After that i just do the regular Miracle Gro about every other time i water it.. You will be stunned b... read more


On Mar 19, 2005, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I have always liked the looks of this plant/vine and have noticed quite a few growing in our area.

I haven't tried this yet, but a friend told me she likes to cut perfect blossoms, sit them in a wine glass (after taking out the pistiles) and fill with vanilla ice cream to serve to guests. She claims the ice cream is then slightly perfumed with the scent of the blossom.
Someday I might try it.


On Feb 24, 2005, desertboot from Bangalore,
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

After four years of our S. nitida (from a cutting) rambling over a south-facing wall - and just as we had given up all hopes of it ever flowering - a single bud opened to the sun this morning!


On May 16, 2002, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

In late-summer through winter this vigorous vine produces 7-inch wide, trumpet shaped flowers of golden yellow. Each flower is marked inside with dark purple ridges. These large tropical vines can be maintained at 4-5 feet in a container with heavy pruning. In tropical zones they become massive mounds of foliage and can even take down small trees. Vines are heavy and will need to be trained and tied to a sturdy support. Prune Solandra after flowering to maintain shape and form. Buds form on growing tips so don't prune again or you'll risk disrupting the flowering cycle. Solandras are heavy feeders and should be fertilzed every 2 weeks with high phosphate fertilizer through the growing season.