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Pakalana Vine, Tonkin Jasmine, Cowslip Creeper

Telosma cordata

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Telosma (tel-OHS-muh) (Info)
Species: cordata (kor-DAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Pergularia odoratissima
Synonym:Telosma odoratissima
Synonym:Asclepias cordata
Synonym:Oxystelma ovatum
Synonym:Cynanchum odoratissimum


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 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:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Glendale, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona

Parker, Colorado

Brandon, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Miami, Florida (3 reports)

Rockledge, Florida

Hilo, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kihei, Hawaii

Deridder, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 15, 2011, Heavinscent from South West, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I wanted to add that I have this plant growing outdoors in zone 9 and it is doing just fine. It has some die back in winter but comes back bigger and better in Spring. I had blooms for the first time last summer and they are wonderfully fragrant!
The seed pods that formed in fall did not make it thru the winter frost but, the vines seem to root nicely where ever they touch the ground so its easy to propagate.


On May 16, 2008, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

If you like fragrant plants, you will want this vine. It is easy to grow here in full sun in Florida. The vine has very nice heart shaped dense green leaves. I have it planted in the ground in a rich acidic soil, growing up a trellis on a fence. You can also eat this plant-new, young leaves & flowers/buds can be eaten fresh (in a salad) or flowers & buds can be battered & fried. Plants flower very heavily for me in late spring/summer with clusters of small, nodding yellow flowers. The heavy, rich fragrance permeates the yard and is wonderful.


On Jul 3, 2006, wkeen27913 from Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Received a 6 inch potted plant from Zone 9 Tropicals in dec 2005. Planted it next to my spa the same day it was received. Plant is approx 12 feet tall and has shot out 5 new runners. Due to the intense sun load it is in an area of part shade and high humidity. Soil is slightly alkaline but humus rich due to composted mulch. Garden bed is raised and fairly well draining. Irrigation is from a low flow 1/2 gallon emitter.


On Jun 8, 2005, pukapants from Parker, CO wrote:

I live in Colorado and amazingly able to keep my pakalana alive for 3 years now. It has been a lot of hard work though. I was even told by the UH botanists that I would be unsuccessful because of the soil,climate and altitude. The 1st yr. was very pitiful. Since then, my plants have had flowers and it seems that flower production has increased slowly. I have 2 plants in different size pots. I noticed that my plant in the much larger pot seems so scrunny and straggly where the smaller pot is much more fuller and healthier looking.


On Mar 13, 2004, AlohaHoya from Keaau, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I live at 850' alt. on the Island of Hawaii....and am struggling to grow this vine. I have read that it is best grown at sea level and think this may be the reason I am having trouble. We are 3-4deg. cooler than sea level and our nights are definitely cooler.


On Feb 5, 2004, Winkdinkerson wrote:

This vine is known as "pakalana" in Hawaii. It thrives in the heat and full sun (which is pretty strong in Hawaii), but can be grown in half-shade. It propagates well from 3" cuttings dipped in Rootone. In Hawaii, it goes dormant in late Fall or Winter, and during that time about half the leaves fall off, and it puts out 4-6" seed pods shaped sort of like Anaheim peppers.