Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rangoon Creeper, Drunken Sailor
Quisqualis indica

Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Quisqualis (kwis-KWAL-iss) (Info)
Species: indica (IN-dih-kuh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

50 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Vines and Climbers

over 40 ft. (12 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

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:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 63 photos.
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28 positives
6 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive AColdStArnolds79 On May 24, 2014, AColdStArnolds79 from Houston, TX wrote:

I first bought one of these in 2004 from Another Place in Time in the Heights of Houston. We moved to a new house two years ago and I've missed this plant. Found them yesterday at the Lowes on 529 and Hiway 6. Only 18.99 for a three feet tall plant. I've never seen them in this size for a price close to that.
I never experienced my plant being invasive. I did trim it a few times a year to control where it's tendrils went. The blooms are wonderful and the fragrance is strong. Mine was on the edge of my driveway and many people would ask me what it was.
At night in the summer sphinx moths would be all over it. Like hummingbirds in flight but a moth.
I'd recommend this to anyone in the south. Mine froze back many years. Like Hibiscus the more years it is in the ground and returns the more resistant it seems to get to freeze.
Mine did put on what appeared to be seed pods a couple of times but never produced actual seed.

Positive sylves13 On Apr 12, 2014, sylves13 from Parrish, FL wrote:

We have been able to star several of these plants using cuttings from the ends of the runners. We do use a root starter for the new shoots.

Positive neek On Jan 3, 2013, neek from Kenilworth
Australia wrote:

I have grown up with Quisqualis.My mum is 93 and her family had it growing. When I was a child It grew on a full width high trellis over the top of a double garage in front of my parents house. Every Christmas it is a tradition in the family to have it on the table. I have two plants now of my own grown from seeds. The scent is wonderful. I am wanting another one and wondered if it will grow from a cutting from the thicker wood closer to the base. I haven't noticed any seeds on these plants of my own which are 3-5 years old. Not sold in nurseries here.

Neutral kenburk101 On Nov 24, 2012, kenburk101 from Old Jefferson, LA wrote:

I planted four rangooon creeper earlier this year. They are doing beautifully. I'm just curious, though. The leaves on mine are turning red. It's a beautiful red and some of the leaves are two-toned red and green. The plants don't seem sick, but I cannot find any pictures on-line where these plants look like this. Has anyone else had this happen?

Positive MickeyAz On Nov 5, 2012, MickeyAz from Cave Creek, AZ wrote:

I love this plant after seeing in in Galveston Tx. I got one and it wouldn't flower. I moved it to full sun and feed it, watched to keep it watered and I still keep it in a pot so I can bring it inside for the winter and I am also able to move it around out side. I want to try and see if I can root some stem cuttings too.
I have both the single and the double. So far only the single has bloomed.

Positive love4plants On Jul 27, 2012, love4plants from Dickinson, TX wrote:

I have 4 rangoon creepers. That may be a mistake after reading how invasive they are. Three of them are planted against a wooden fence with hog wire attached to it. One of the plants is finally blooming. It is very green and very thick. I was telling my husband your blog said it needs an acid fertilizer and he said "Oh, that may be why it is not blooming too much, I have been dumping the ashes from the fireplace in that bed" Now he tells me! Oh well, at least now I know.
I am going to feed it an acid fertilizer now and maybe I will be blessed by a mass of blooms :)

Positive fancytailsfish On Jul 25, 2012, fancytailsfish from Lake Placid, FL wrote:

i have found this plant here at my house !! its huge !!! I live on 25 acres passed down by my father and from his father and from his mother and so on and so on ..... im 6th generation ! anyway not sure when it was planted ? I live in lake placid Florida and was walking around looking to see whats new ! being from pa I have come across some really cool plants !! not really used to the sugar sand !!! any way i dug some up and planted it next to the fence !! very excited !!! anyone interested in some ,let me know !! there is allot of it !!!

Positive happy_girl On May 22, 2012, happy_girl from Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

When I received this plant, it was absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful strong stems and lovely green leaves. We put it in a small pot and watched it for a while. A few months later, we put it in the ground. Winter came and the leaves dropped off.

Since winter, I've been searching for growth....anywhere! We were just thinking of ordering another one when my DH called me yesterday to tell me he was about to pull it out of the ground when he spotted 3 tiny new leaves! YAHOO!

I am thrilled. I have seen this beautiful vine on the big island where it was framing a fence in all its glorious color and fragrance. I can't wait!

Positive popper1 On May 20, 2012, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have the double flowered variety. Sterile, does not set seed. Flowers a few times a year, smells just as wonderful as the single flowered form. Woody climber, FAST growing here in Florida, but obviously this form is not invasive.

Positive gardeninthesun On May 3, 2012, gardeninthesun from Lake City, FL wrote:

I have three Rangoon Creepers growing in my North Florida, zone 8B garden. I received them as divisions from my mother's 40 year old plant growing here also. The plants can grow very tall and the clumps do gradually enlarge, but they definitely are NOT invasive. In forty years my mother has only had one additional plant come up elsewhere in the yard.They do have to have something very large and sturdy to grow on. My mom's plant is trellised up the side of the house and climbs up and over the roof. Frost kills the plants to the ground but they come back reliably every year here, even when when we have multiple days of winter weather in the teens, and I have never even mulched my plants. The plants love full, hot sun, are not bothered by disease, smell divine, and are absolutely beautiful. If you have a place for a large vine, this is it!

Negative naturesown On May 3, 2012, naturesown from Bolivar, NY wrote:

Hmmm...another fast-growing & spreading alien plant. Please read any number of some great new books on the market about native plants and how much more they are than pretty faces in our garden. Douglas Tallamy's book, "Bringing Nature Home" does it best when he explains the importance of native plants to our fragile ecosystem and how invasive plants have quickly (in earth age) changed and affected both native plants and the animals that depend on them. I can go on and on but, instead, I'll encourage all gardeners to educate themselves about how they can reverse the trend and 'Go Native"!

Positive lexipie On May 3, 2012, lexipie from Huntsville, TX wrote:

I LOVE this vine! I bought one several years ago (Martha's Bloomers-Navasota) & it has done really well. It survived the first few winters without dying back at all. Then 2 winters ago, we had some snow & it died back to the ground. Thought it was dead & cut it off at ground level.Searched all over E Texas for another with no luck...However, the next spring, new shoots came up---much to my delight! This spring I dug it up to take to my new house. Only just planted it there but already seems to be settling in! Both locations has been full, hot afternoon sun & no supplementary watering. Fascinating to watch the flowers change color & the smell---mmm Heaven! Get one if you can!

Positive foodiesleuth On Apr 30, 2012, foodiesleuth from Honomu, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I grew up with this plant growing in our back yard in our house in Cuba. I remember it as a fast grower but not invasive, as no little plants would spread around the yard. I now live in Hawaii and would love to have cuttings or seedlings or however it is best to get one started.

My BIL has one growing in his backyard in Miami and he keeps it controlled w/o too much trouble...His is using a dead starfruit tree as a climbing support. The plant did not kill the starfruit.

Neutral Annie_Rooney On Apr 30, 2012, Annie_Rooney from Tyler, TX wrote:

I live in East Texas. I'm not sure what the zone is. Not as cold as Dallas. I want an evergreen vine (not English ivy) that does not require a lot of sun. One post on Rangoon Creeper said it lost its leaves in winter. Another said it was evergreen. Does that depend on the species? Also, I have sensitive skin & would not be able to tolerate thorns. I would enjoy the blooms and the fragrance. Is it possible to order one that does not have the things that are negative for me?

Negative mlml On Apr 30, 2012, mlml from Penngrove, CA wrote:

This plant is a serious invasive pest in Florida. When gardeners say they have to cut it back frequently or it is covering their trees, that's a red flag. Gardeners should be aware that they will not be able to care for invasive plants forever, and that they can spread into wildlands, upsetting ecosystems, or end up a problem for neighbors in later years. Here in California, English ivy and Vinca are the poster children for what can happen.

Positive cocoloba On Nov 7, 2011, cocoloba from St John's
Antigua and Barbuda (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this plant, but it has only bloomed once in a year, can I get it to bloom more frequently?? I am zone 10b

Neutral DOM On Oct 14, 2011, DOM from Pahoa, HI wrote:

I am growing Quisqualis indica in Pahoa, Hawaii (Hawaii Island). It is a delight...but something eats the leaves, primarily at night. Any thoughts as to who the eater might be?
Any thoughts as to how to stop the eater?
Pahoa, Hawaii

Positive robnix On Jun 7, 2011, robnix from Brenham, TX wrote:

moved to brenham from houston and brought this vine with me. brenham is 10 degrees colder than houston, and we have had 2 years of brutally cold (around 10 degrees farenheit.) for 2 years. this vine took awhile to come back from that, but in 1st of may it did and is now, june 7th, at the top of the fence loaded with is fantastic. people stop and look at it from their cars.everyone should have it. i did not even try to protect it.

Positive adam7twiddle On Apr 28, 2011, adam7twiddle from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Planted in a protected location against a house in Zone 8. I mulched it well and I was suprised to see it returned after the brutally cold winter we had with temps down to 13 degrees or so.

Positive Darmananda On Jul 23, 2010, Darmananda from New Iberia, LA wrote:

I grew up with this thing in Burma where it is native (we didn't have nurseries where you just went and BOUGHT plants).

I now live in Louisiana (what?) where I have never seen this plant on sale at any of our big box stores that sell anything they can imagine, including plants. So, I ordered this thing online - after learning what it was called in English so that I could Google it - and planted it in our Acadiana (Zone 9-B) garden. I planted this thing in Spring against a cloth-line pole (to hide it) and this thing climbed way too fast. Previously the cloth-line pole was made hidden by a jasmine vine which committed suicide last year.

Back to Rangoon Creeper, into summer, it is completely covered the cloth-line pole and want to climb onto trees and a window awning nearby. So it needs to be kept in check, making sure it doesn't climb where it is not supposed to. Just pull the vine down and direct it towards where you want it to be. This is an acid loving vine (anything that grew in northern Burma is) so I fed it bi-monthly with acid-loving water soluble plant food. Some viny branches grew so fat that I thought it was going to strangle me while I was fooling around with it near by. It is just beginning to bloom now (early summer). It should look spectacular once more flowers open up. The whole vine looks like it is going to be covered with flowers because it is full of buds. I will upload pictures soon, look for them. It was only planted (a baby plant) this spring (2010), and now (early summer, 2010) it has covered the whole of cloth-line pole and blooming! Flowers were white in the morning and turned pink an hour later and they're red by mid afternoon. What more can you ask for? I smelled my first flower today since Burma and the fragrance was as fruity as I remembered. I am also trying some butterfly gingers which are also native to northern Burma. Can't wait until they bloom (imagine the sweet intoxicating fragrant of the butterfly ginger flower!). I am also learning how to make perfume with flowers from my own garden. Will try when I get enough Rangoon Creeper blooms (two cups minimum, I think).

Yes, it is a weed if you let it grow wild, but if you are one of those people, you shouldn't really be planting this vine anyway unless you have a large uncultivated area. I will do my first pruning after this bloom cycle is done with. Give this vine enough sun and acid and you get glossy shiny leaves plus amazing flowers. I can't comment on its cold hardiness because it hasn't spent our winter here yet (once in a blue moon, the temperature here gets to the upper teens with wind-chill factor, but normally it stays above the freezing mark---hence, we're subtropic).

This vine can survive moderate amount of flood, if that is an occasional problem where you are. We have 5-month long monsoon season in Burma, so everything there must be flood-tolerant.

Very impressed so far.

Update 8/6/10: Plant in full bloom now with more buds to open. The flowers have been staying on the plant for weeks without falling off. Great! Another thing I wanted to tell you was about the night-time pollinators: At dusk, I saw a hovering thing the size of a humming bird with a similar hover-motion on my Rangoon Creeper. Upon careful inspection and knowing hummers wouldn't be feeding at dusk, I realized, after reading some articles I found through Google search, that it was a sphinx moth. After I saw one, then I saw another, and another. They were still at it even when it got too dark for me to see them. Now I see them coming to my Rangoon Creeper flowers everyday, at dusk, so that explains why the fragrance strongest at night, to attract night time pollinators! I cannot, unfortunately, take pictures of these moths because like hummers, they never land on the plant, they hover and hover and hover, and since they are nocturnal, I neither have enough natural light nor appropriate camera/lens/lighting to take photos. But do please Google search on Sphinx Moths and you will learn all about them and see pictures. I hope you don't get freaked out by these harmless creatures, not knowing what they are. We need more pollinators with the amount of bee population we have been losing lately, and don't worry about the horn-worm caterpillars (which become sphinx moths as adults), the sphinx moths won't lay eggs on the Rangoon Creeper plant as it is not one of their host plants. If you can have a lot of extra ornamental peppers plant in your garden out of sight, they make great host plants for these beauties and I hope you welcome them in your garden. Have a happy gardening!

Neutral FLOrlandogarden On Jul 23, 2009, FLOrlandogarden from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I'm in search of a vine that will bloom all year for a wooden fence. I have a fairly small lot, so it needs to cling pretty tightly to the structure or be able to be trained or pruned to cling tightly. To the other Floridians who posted comments, how many months is the rangoon creeper in bloom? Do you have any other vine recommendations that will met this criteria? I am also considering the manettia cordifolia (firecracker) or the Mexican flame vine (senecio confucus). Thank you in advance for your insight.

Neutral htop On Sep 18, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Native to Tropical Africa, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia, Rangoon Creeper is deer and rabbit resistant. It may be propagated from stem cuttings, root cuttings (produces suckers) and by layering as well as by seed. Plants begun by seed are more bush-like when young and develop more of a vine-like habit as they age. Plants propagated from vining stem cuttings will grow more vine-like.

Positive mol1946 On May 12, 2008, mol1946 from Aransas Pass, TX wrote:

I found these beautiful blooms hanging from the beams of a hot house at a Corpus Christi nursery. The blooms were all over and so beautiful so I bought a plant. That was three springs ago. The first spring it grew but not much. The second spring it grew and grew but no blooms. Yesterday I noticed that it is about to bloom!!!

Positive Dinu On Apr 8, 2008, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

Till two days back, April 6, 2008, I hadn't noticed or even wondered what scent this lovely flower emanates. My DW called me just before dinner time to notice the brilliant fragrance in the front verandah. I was so happy to smell it. I confirmed that they are from there when I took my nose closer, out. Daytime, there is none noticeable. This must rank as one of the better ones for its scent at night.

Positive ronmybaby On Sep 9, 2007, ronmybaby from Cedartown, GA wrote:

I bought two of these Rangoon Creeper Plants from Zone 9 Tropicals - the packing was great - the plants arrived in really great condition! They have grown alot, about 3 feet now in only a couple months. Can't wait to see flowers on it. I live in Northwest GA area so we will see how it does.

Positive caribayb On Jul 17, 2007, caribayb from Tampa, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have had this in my yard for 7 years... it showed up the first spring after I bought my house and I didn't know what it was until Saturday when I saw it at the USF Tropical Plant show. I thought it was some sort of red jasmine, due to the heavy fragrance first thing in the morning. I'm glad I know what it is now. I've never fertilized or trimmed. It's growing up a viburnum bush behind my husband's woodworking shop. I guess I need to prune it, now that I know what it is and know that it could get out of hand. I've tried taking cuttings of it, but they've never rooted. It's one of my favorite signs of spring - once this blooms I know the daylilies are right behind!

Positive aprilwillis On Sep 15, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant! The 1st year while getting established it wasn't all that but this second year it has bloomed constantly and grown quite a bit. Easy care, thrives on benign neglect more or less. The flowers smell great and they open white, turn pink and then finally red- what more could you ask for.

Positive rjuddharrison On Apr 26, 2006, rjuddharrison from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I originally bought this plant at a garage sale at the beginning of my gardening days. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what this plants requirements are. Over time I have learned that the plant blooms on new growth, so every year around Janurary though March I prune off all branches from the main trunk. While most web sites report no or little fertilizer is needed I learned through a local nursery a few years back to apply Hibiscus fertilzer granules. Indeed there was quite a difference. I have created a page in my journal including the analysis and where to find the Hibiscus fertilizer I use.

Positive AMAMAYI On Jul 30, 2004, AMAMAYI from Miami, FL wrote:

The name of Quisqualis indica is COCUISA in Dominican Republic and POIS ET RIZ in Haiti. It is an astringent; the bark rich in tannin is use in potion for diarrhea.

Neutral klkruger On Jul 8, 2004, klkruger from Okeechobee, FL wrote:

This plant is available from Took me a while to locate one as they're not available in area nurseries (but, then again, nothing unusual is). I just got one to try in Okeechobee, Florida. I had one in Miami Beach and it covered my screen room. A favorite of mine.

Positive gagesgranny On Jul 7, 2004, gagesgranny from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I planted this plant about 5 yrs ago, didn't know its name or anything about it. It's on the east side and gets full sun the only water it gets is when I water the lawn or it rains. And yet it continues to thrive. Drought or cold doesn't seem to bother it. I have to cut it back several times. I would love to have more but have not been able to find another.

Positive Indigoez On Jun 28, 2004, Indigoez from Floresville, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I've had one of these for three years outside in zone 8b and while it loses all of its leaves in the winter is always returns and is quite beautiful, although it does have a tendancy to creep over everything in sight, which I guess is where it got the name creeper.

Negative mhatt53 On Jun 26, 2004, mhatt53 from Clearwater, FL wrote:

I bought what was labeled as rangoon creeper at a garden show last winter after the ladies there raved about its fragrance & beauty. I planted in the ground months ago & it has hardly grown at all, as if it is just 'on hold' at about 4' tall. It gets afternoon sun & I water frequently.

Positive MotherNature4 On Apr 20, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I grew the Rangoon Creeper more than 30 years ago. A hard freeze killed it, and I've never found another. The fragrance covered the entire yard.

Positive theCatat On Aug 24, 2003, theCatat wrote:

Not mentioned here - as far as I can tell, all of the photos shown except for the last one are of the Quisqualis Indica Rangoon Creeper 'single'.

The last photo (by Chamma) is of the Quisqualis Indica Rangoon Creeper 'double' which has thicker leaves in addition to the profusion of double blooms.

Positive Chamma On Dec 16, 2002, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Quisqualis is a wonderful evergreen vine with large leaves and clusters of very long tubed white,pink and red flowers all on the same vine. The fragrance is very heady and sweet. The vine should be trimmed once a year after blooming for they become huge. In Dubai, UAE the rangoon creeper starts blooming in November until March. (zone 11)

Positive leoi95 On May 21, 2002, leoi95 from Miami, FL wrote:

I live in Miami, Florida (U.S.) and I noticed this vine almost covering one of my small trees. I identified it as a Rangoon Creeper (which originates from the Pacific Islands, China, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.) I believe the seed may have been dropped by a bird because I've lived here 53 years and have never seen any other Rangoon Creeper vines in this area. The flowers are in bunches, each blossom on a 3" long stem. The petals open white, turning to red.

It appears the vine could be very invasive, so I am going to see to it that it stays right here where I can control it.


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

Anniston, Alabama
Cave Creek, Arizona
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Capistrano Beach, California
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Redondo Beach, California
Stockton, California
Bartow, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Crystal River, Florida
Deland, Florida
Floral City, Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Homestead, Florida
Interlachen, Florida
Lake City, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Lake Wales, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Maitland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
Naples, Florida
Ocala, Florida (2 reports)
Odessa, Florida
Okeechobee, Florida
Orlando, Florida (2 reports)
Panama City Beach, Florida
Pinellas Park, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida (2 reports)
Punta Gorda, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Tampa, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Vero Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Wauchula, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Yulee, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Thomasville, Georgia
Ainaloa, Hawaii
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Natchitoches, Louisiana
New Iberia, Louisiana (2 reports)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Brandon, Mississippi
Aransas Pass, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Brazoria, Texas
Brenham, Texas
Dickinson, Texas
Floresville, Texas
Galveston, Texas (2 reports)
Harlingen, Texas
Houston, Texas (8 reports)
Humble, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Katy, Texas
Midway, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Pasadena, Texas
Richards, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Seabrook, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Tomball, Texas

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