Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Flame Creeper, Flame Nasturtium
Tropaeolum speciosum

Family: Tropaeolaceae
Genus: Tropaeolum (tro-PEE-oh-lum) (Info)
Species: speciosum (spee-see-OH-sum) (Info)

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter


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

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By stevenova
Thumbnail #1 of Tropaeolum speciosum by stevenova

By stevenova
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By arsenic
Thumbnail #3 of Tropaeolum speciosum by arsenic

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Thumbnail #4 of Tropaeolum speciosum by kennedyh

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By stevenova
Thumbnail #6 of Tropaeolum speciosum by stevenova

By stevenova
Thumbnail #7 of Tropaeolum speciosum by stevenova

There are a total of 16 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral eliasastro On Sep 10, 2006, eliasastro from Athens
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very challenging germination from seed.
I sowed in mid June under hot conditions (average 76F/24.5C) and germination took place 8 months later in mid February (average temperature 49F/9.5C).
Only one seed germinated (out of 10) and the seedling was very thin. It grew normally untill mid June that the weather warmed up. Growing stopped when average temperature reached 77F/25C and during our very hot July (80F/27C) the leaves gradually died and in August all the plant died.
From what i' ve read small plants can' t tolerate overwatering.
I must admit that sometimes i watered the plant more often than i should.
But i am sure that young plants are also very sensitive to heat.
The seeds that i have sown last year may still germinate(can take up to 2 years!), so i still water their pots.

Neutral gardenwife On Apr 1, 2004, gardenwife from Newark, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I read on one site that it is considered a naturalized weed and can be invasive.

Positive franz On Sep 27, 2003, franz from Hawes
United Kingdom wrote:

It is a delightful small climber which wends its way into and aroud small shrubs.
It needs to have its feet in the shade and its head in the sun
It self-seeds when in congenial surroundings.
Mine are still in flower at the end of September, rambling away in a largish rose bush and in some clipped yews.

Positive stevenova On Jul 5, 2003, stevenova from Newcastle
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant grows in all the borders where I work in the UK and as can been seen is quite spectacular between the end of June and well into July.

Positive kennedyh On May 29, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

I met this beautiful climber in a camp site on the North Island of New Zealand, where it was growing semi-wild, scrambling over many shrubs. It was taller than the 3 metres given above, and I had great difficulty getting close enough to photograph the flowers.

The masses of red flowers give a wonderful display, and I would love to try growing it, but have been unable to locate a source of seeds or plants in Australia.


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

Winston, Oregon
Houston, Texas
Artondale, Washington

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