Callaeum Species, Gallinita, Hillyhock, Yellow Butterfly Vine, Yellow Orchid Vine

Callaeum macropterum

Family: Malpighiaceae
Genus: Callaeum
Species: macropterum (mak-roh-TER-um) (Info)
Synonym:Hiraea greggii
Synonym:Hiraea mexicana
Synonym:Mascagnia macroptera


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

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; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Antioch, California

Fullerton, California

San Clemente, California

Bartow, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida

Tampa, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana(2 reports)

Deridder, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Kentwood, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Merryville, Louisiana

Carriere, Mississippi

Eupora, Mississippi

Moyock, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Jackson, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Bryan, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Edinburg, Texas

Friendswood, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Geronimo, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas

Katy, Texas

Lake Jackson, Texas

Marion, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

Nome, Texas

Plano, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Rosenberg, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Vidor, Texas

Waco, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 8, 2017, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

I like this vine. It has grown pretty fast in the last 6 months. It even has blooms which I really didn't expect the first year. It has been pretty drought tolerant also. Good buy and not expensive at all.

April, 2020

I have grown negative about this vine. Did great the first year. However, it has done nothing since. Never grows more than a few inches and doesn't bloom. I have tried fertilizing it several times, but it never helps. Thinking about pulling it up and planting crossvine. Crossvine grows great everywhere.


On Jul 25, 2015, dbvid from baton rouge, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

OK why won't mine grow? Other things in the same bed do fine; confederate jasmine, evergreen wisteria, ginger etc. I planng and it hasn't done anything. It hasn't died but it hasn't grown!


On Jun 19, 2014, susieqfl from Brandon, FL wrote:

I'm having trouble finding the seeds! I've waited until the "butterfly" turns dark brown but can't figure out where the seeds are. Help!


On Sep 24, 2012, feisele from Tucson, AZ wrote:

PROBLEM: Planted two Callaeum macroptera vines a yr ago (zone 8b, Tucson) in desert soil, well drained, good sun 6 hrs daily, fertilized monthly. Now they are seriously wilting, some leaves yellowing and dropping.

No grub worms in soil eating roots, no bugs on leaves. If this continues, I'm afraid I'll lose them both.

Any suggestions about what to do?


On Oct 10, 2009, Denaflower from Port Saint Joe, FL wrote:

I donot have this plant yet. I was wondering if it attracts butterflys or just looks like butterflys.


On May 19, 2009, Agaveguy from San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Somewhat aggressive in certain conditions. Self-seeded in my woodland and has now swamped an area about 1,000 square feet, completely covering shrubs and ground, smothering most other plants. Lovely, but I have to do something to control it, or it has to go.


On Apr 16, 2008, TexasPuddyPrint from Edinburg, TX wrote:

Planted this vine a couple of years ago and it grew quickly. Love the blooms as well as the butterfly-like seed pods :o)

Have had lots of long tendrils snaking across the ground so piled up some potting soil over parts of them. It's been about four weeks and there are lots of roots forming now. Will give them more time then pot up some cuttings.

~ Cat


On Apr 1, 2007, Minetteg from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

This vine has grown successfully in my mother's yard in Houston, TX for years. She layers it to propagate, and has given me two starter vines. It is prolific in Corpus Christi, TX! Beautiful on a trellis against a wall. Easy to care for!


On Dec 26, 2005, baburris from Round Rock, TX wrote:

I purchased this at Home Depot in Round Rock, Tx about 9 yrs ago and it is a beautiful vine on a fence. I did not know the name until I saw this site! After blooming in spring, summer it has the butterfly seed pods that are light green that turn copper brown in winter. I have not tried to grow from seed, but had no luck with cuttings.


On Oct 11, 2004, seedpicker_TX from (Taylor) Plano, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seed germination can be tricky. I have had best results NOT presoaking the seeds. They draw up water too readily, and will rot easily, if pre-soaked.

I usually start with moistened soil-less mix, and then squeeze it as hard as I can, to get all the water out. The moisture that is left in the soil-less mix, is now just right (barely moist and a bit on the dry side).

Put the soil-less mix in a container with seeds, and cover. Remove and sow, as they germinate. Germination is erratic. Seeds may germinate at different intervals over a period of about a month. Some may germinate in as little as one week, and others may take up to a month.

I have also successfully Propagated this by layering. Layering is actually the fastest and easiest way... read more


On Sep 23, 2004, KLouise from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

This is a gregarious vine. It took about 5 years to get a hold and it is now growing down fences, up trees, over lawns. I take the runners and remove the leaves on the lower 5 inches and pot them in a mix of black dirt and garden comost.I'm pretty basic. I find this works best in the late spring and summer. I have never tried to harvest the seeds but that is next. Thank's to DG for comments with instructions. I'll send some to you if you e-mail me with an address. The green seed pods if picked while green, stay green,and are beautiful in dry arrangements. I find the seed pods are very cheerful to add to get well wishes. I have even used them on package bows. ;-}


On Jun 18, 2004, ElaineC from Pompano Beach, FL wrote:

I live in South Florida and have two of these butterfly vines growing and they are very hardy and fast growing. Their flower resemble a butterfly especially when they turn brown and fall from the plant. Some people like to paint them.
I bought my plants from


On Apr 20, 2004, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
Native to Mexico (also known as Mexican Butterfly Vine) and a member of the Barbados cherry family, Mascagnia macroptera (Synonym:Stigmaphyllon ciliatum) is really a shrub with vine-like branches. It prefers full sun to partial shade. It thrives in well-drained soil which contains a lot of humus. The bright yellow attractive blooms appear in spring and again in fall and it has unusual butterfly-shaped seedpods which change from green to a beautiful brown. Blooms and seedpods appear at the same time on the plant. Having a high heat tolerance, low water needs once established, a very vigorous growth, needing little upkeep and not being attractive to pests, it is a great plant. The one that I photographed, is living in a large container which sits on the asphalt in a... read more


On Mar 7, 2004, tinkerbell1 wrote:

I have seen the plant and yes, it looks like butterflies.
We have not been able to propagate it as of yet.
We have tried root tone on cuttings and seeds.
The lady that has it says she bought it from Home Depot but, they don't know what it is either.
The location where it is growing is near the Bay County Line in the Florida panhandle at a resturant called the Ski Inn, on old 231 N.