Combretum Species, Burma Creeper, Chinese Honeysuckle, Drunken Sailor, Rangoon Creeper

Combretum indicum

Family: Combretaceae
Genus: Combretum (kom-BREE-tum) (Info)
Species: indicum (IN-dih-kum) (Info)
Synonym:Quisqualis indica
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are showy

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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(3 reports)

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(3 reports)

Mulberry, Florida

Naples, Florida

Ocala, Florida(2 reports)

Odessa, Florida

Okeechobee, Florida

Orlando, Florida(4 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

Vero Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Wauchula, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Yulee, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Thomasville, Georgia

Ainaloa, Hawaii

Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaii

Leilani Estates, Hawaii

Nanawale Estates, Hawaii

Pahoa, 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

Bryan, 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

New Braunfels, Texas

Pasadena, Texas

Pharr, Texas

Richards, Texas

Rockport, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

San Benito, Texas

Seabrook, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Tomball, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 29, 2020, Ompus from Miami, FL wrote:

Here in Miami, this vine has abundant beautiful flowers with a delicious fragrance and rapid growth. With that said, NEVER Plant it.

I have been attempting to eradicate seedlings for several years now. They grow fast and often climb 20ft before they 'reveal' themselves. I've noticed it overtaking neighborhood hedges where it volunteered. I believe the double is sterile, but avoid the single at all cost.


On Jun 15, 2019, ocean_girl from Gotha, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have rangoon creeper that was planted in 1996, it is absolutely beautiful and smells wonderful. I am in SW Orange County Fl zone 9B. It has only received rain water and never fertilized. It blooms for 9-10 months out of the year and is dormant the others. It does not die back in winter and it has survived several hurricanes. 2004 hurricane pulled it out of the ground but I came right back within a year. It is not invasive, it grows tall and wide but has not grown out of its planted area at all. I am currently trying to propagate it and plant it on the other side of my yard


On Jun 28, 2017, Cactusdude from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Frighteningly invasive in moist or irrigated situations in South Florida.
Develops into a woody liana with prickly stems. Seeds abundantly in warm wet weather. Will cover large areas and quickly climb, smother, and even break large trees. Seedlings develop very quickly.
Absolutely DO NOT GROW in warm-climate areas! Pretty flowers, but a horrible landscaping and environmental pest.


On Jun 9, 2017, Rests from Bryan, TX wrote:

July, 2018

I planted another rangoon creeper along the fence. It is really growing fast. The older rangoon creeper is not growing as fast. I am thinking that the new plant is in better soil. I am feeding the older vine more fertilizer for acid loving plants and watering the heck out of it. It is responding and growing better. I am finding that here in Texas that they need lots and lots of water. My rating for this is somewhere between positive and neutral. Wish it would bloom.

My experience could turn positive. Planted this about a year ago. The plant did nothing all last spring and summer. It froze back this winter. I watered and fertilized where it was planted hoping to see it come up. I saw nothing for wee... read more


On May 8, 2017, MarjieW from Okatie, SC wrote:

I'm concerned about introducing a non-native plant that can be invasive. Kudzu anyone?


On May 21, 2016, cleasands from Rockport, TX wrote:

I had 3 till a flood killed 1 and I killed one trying to move it.
The living one is very healthy....this plant is NOT INVASIVE in Texas, maybe it is in Florida. Here in Rockport TX it completely dies back in winter, comes back in spring.
Love the hypnotic scent and want to start more! It needs a little protection from hot afternoon sun but it gets sun all day.
I'm looking at it out my window and now it has some pink and some red blooms...amazing plant!


On Aug 27, 2015, illinibunny from Lake Geneva, WI wrote:

I bought a Rangoon creeper a year ago. The thing grew and grew in my greenhouse, and at the end of July, was loaded with buds. When the plant bloomed, I expected to be transported by the fragrance, but to me, it is redolent of body odor. It really stinks. I know that people perceive fragrances differently, but I buy plants primarily to enjoy their fragrance. To its credit, it grows well in a pot, and it's very pretty in full bloom, but I moved it outside so I could enjoy my brunfelsia Americana, jasmines and gardenias; all the delicious fragrances it was tainting with its nastiness. Perhaps that's why some people call it drunken sailor. It smells like one.


On Jun 14, 2015, Tcatjo from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

Mine has been in the ground 3 years in zone 8b. It comes back every year but this is the first year for it to bloom. It doesn't get full sun but my moms does and hers blooms much better than mine. I'm thinking of getting another one and planting in full sun. I love the plant and see absolutely NO signs of it being invasive, it has stayed where it was planted for the past 3 years.


On May 26, 2015, Vanda30 from Bradenton, FL wrote:

I have a huge double Rangoon growing up my balcony, absolutely love walking out in the morning to its' fragrant blooms! Also, have single Rangoon Creeper growing on fence - it produces seeds, yet is several years younger than the Double Rangoon - are all doubles sterile & do not produce seed? Both plants were purchased as small seedlings from Tropical plant vendors, here in Bradenton, FL (Zone 9a/10b) Also, curious about seed germination to propogate seedlings....I've heard cutting the top of a fresh pod off and sowing it in pod is the way to go? Any suggestions/tips? Thanks!


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 th... read more


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.


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.


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?


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.


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 :)


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 !!!


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!


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.


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. I... read more


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"!


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!


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.


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?


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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 a... read more


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.


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.


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!!!


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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.