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Cypress Vine

Ipomoea quamoclit

Thomas Jefferson was the first person to cite this plant in America.While in Philadelphia in December 1790, he sent a collection of seeds to Monticello that included "some seed of the Cypress vine for Patsy" (his eldest daughter, Martha). The following March, Martha wrote back that she and "Polly" (his daughter, Maria) had "planted the cypress vine in boxes in the window," perhaps to serve as houseplants. This tender annual vine, native to tropical America, and noted in Italy in the 1500s, was known among 18th-century Virginia gardeners. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon offered seed for sale in 1804, calling it "Wing'd leaved Ipomoea." The Cypress Vine is a Morning Glory relative with star-shaped scarlet and white flowers that provide a vivid contrast to plant's lacy green foliage. Like the Morning Glory, the Cypress vine will twine up a trellis, pole, young tree, fence, or, as we use at Monticello, four-foot-high branches or "pea sticks" pruned from our own trees.

The true cypress vine is often confused with a related species, cardinal climber (Ipomoea coccinea), which does not have the distinctive lacy foliage. Cypress is a summer-flowering, annual vine with slender, bright scarlet, star-shaped flowers and delicate, lacy, deep green foliage.

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Cypress Vine.
Growth Type: 
Reds (Scarlet),White
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Partial Shade
Blooming History: 
July 7, 2001 to November 1, 2001July 5, 2002 to November 15, 2002July 24, 2003 to October 17, 2003July 29, 2004 to October 22, 2004August 9, 2005 to November 2, 2005June 30, 2006 to October 27, 2006July 6, 2007 to October 26, 2007August 1, 2008 to October 31, 2008July 22, 2009 to October 6, 2009August 1, 2010 to December 1, 2010June 28, 2011 to October 13, 2011August 24, 2012 to October 24, 2012July 4, 2013 to October 30, 2013June 16, 2014 to October 31, 2014July 28, 2015 to October 7, 2015June 17, 2016 to October 14, 2016August 24, 2017 to November 3, 2017June 20, 2018 to October 17, 2018June 25, 2019


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