Monday, August 8, 2011

What! Why?

There's something strange going on in my garden.  I noticed it yesterday.  It's a complete mystery, something I've never seen before.

It has to do with my crossvine.  A plant I've had for almost 10 years.  I love this plant, especially when it blooms.  Big, pretty, orange blooms that attract hummingbirds for miles around.  

But this year, something's different.  Odd.  Strange.  A mystery. 

My crossvine is blooming yellow!   It has never bloomed yellow before.  Ever.  Here's a picture of its normal color:

Crossvine - naturally orange

Just a touch of yellow in the throat.

And here it is in my garden now:


There is a variety of yellow crossvine, but this just the regular orange one!  Why did the blooms turn yellow?  I could not find anything about crossvine turning a different color!

Is it the heat?  In too much shade?  PH?  Something in the compost?  A deficiency?  Is it dying???

Just a slight shading of orange if you look closely.

This is a mystery to me.  Very odd.  Very odd indeed.  I'm hoping it's the heat, and that it'll return to orange when it cools down.  But I still wonder.  What would be your guess?


  1. It'll be interesting to read what others have to say about this phenomenon, I'm curious as well! Gorgeous flowers nevertheless :)

  2. How weird and fascinating! Lacking the horticultural knowledge to leave you an informed and sensible comment I will just say... looks like The Midas Touch to me! The Time Sculptor

  3. Wow! That's pretty cool! Both colors are beautiful. I'm not very knowledgeable about flowers. My first guess was something in the soil? I hope the plant stays healthy, and if you find the answer, let us know!

  4. Holley, that is indeed a strange phenomenon happening in your garden! I have no explanation for that to offer, but I am curious if the vine will revert back to its normal color, when the heat wave subsides. The crossvine is a new plant to me and I like it a lot!

  5. Hi Holley - that is amazing. Unfortunately I have no clue why that would be but am interested to find out. Lets hope someone has an answer for you.

  6. Very new twist for me, also. My guess is like the others' comments, maybe the heat. If not, take cuttings and sell that baby to the closest grower. This could be the start of a new variety.

  7. Well, that's something! I've never heard of such a thing...though sometimes hostas revert to different leaf colors at times, never heard of a vine doing it. Both colors are very pretty, though. I wonder if it was grafted on to a different root stock and now that is the plant that is flowering? Keep us posted, please!

  8. Is it blooming on new wood? Does it die back to the ground in winter? Is it grafted? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it's possible that it is reverting to one of its parents. Otherwise I'm as mystified as the rest. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  9. How weird--I know that some nutrients are kind of "locked up" by heat and made unavailable to the plant, but I thought that mostly affected the leaves. A miniature garden make-over with no effort on your part has its fun side, I suppose...

  10. Are there yellow flowers all over the plant, or is it just one branch that is producing yellow flowers? In the latter case it might well be a mutation/reversion, especially if a yellow variety is known to exist. Otherwise I have no idea either. In any case, it is a beautiful plant! Wish we could grow it here...

  11. Mark and Gaz - This has always been one of my favorite plants. I hope this phenomenon is just temporary!

    Jane - The midas touch! :) I like that!

    Bumble Lush - I am worried that it may be something in the soil. I certainly hope not, but maybe someone will know.

    Christina - I love this vine. Evergreen, blooms abundantly a couple times a year. I wish this heat wave would stop so I would know more!

    Gardening Blog - I hope someone will have an answer, too. I googled it, and found that there was a yellow crossvine, which I never had heard of, but could not find anything on one changing colors. That worries me!

    Tufa Girl - haha I doubt I would ever have anything so exciting as a new plant on my hands! I hate to think I'll have to wait until this heat goes away to know!

    Karen - This plant is rooted by cutting, I believe. I would be extremely surprised if it were grafted. I'm so used to seeing orange, the yellow looks a bit anemic to me!

    Grace - Great questions! I went outside and looked closely. I don't think it's grafted, it stays evergreen or almost in winter, and I wondered if it was just one section. But, no, it is blooming from top to bottom in yellow blooms. It covers a wall, and although the blooms are not extremely numerous, there are several in different areas, from different vines. I really think the entire plant is affected.

    Stacy - I suppose if I weren't so worried about it, I might enjoy it more! I've thought about sitting out there to see if the hummingbirds are still attracted to it, but it's too hot to even sit out there!

    College Gardener - I went out there to trace the vines, and found that it is blooming from several different branches. I may just have to wait and see what color it blooms this fall.

  12. This is completely new to me. LIke others, I've seen branches revert back to a parent colour but the entire plant reverting is very strange indeed. Looking forward to seeing if it changes again this season or what it looks like next season.

  13. Marguerite - It will be interesting to see if the blooms change back to orange after this heat wave subsides. I hope it's the heat, and nothing else!

  14. Very curious. I have heard of grafted trees reverting but that probably isn't the case here. What a mystery! Is there a horticultural college near you? They may be interested in your phenomenon or may have an answer.

  15. What a pleasant, but perplexing surprise! I have heard that sometimes the weather or the age of the plant can cause the change in bloom color.

  16. Marcia - That's a great idea. I wonder if the local jr. college still has a horticultural class. I may look into that!

    Sage Butterfly - Perplexing, yes! I never thought about the age. I wonder if 10 years is old for a crossvine. It bloomed beautifully (and orange) this spring.

  17. There is a yellow one that is orange/red on the outside. Maybe yours will get darker on the outside with time. Maybe cross vine sports like roses do in color variations.

  18. Hi Holley. I'm not familiar with this vine but it's gorgeous in either color. I was going to suggest what Grace said and also ask if something is different about the soil?? You know how amending can change the color of hydrangeas ~ I think it works that way with other plants too??

  19. Sherry - I've wondered about the yellow one, never having seen it, but just found about it while looking for an answer. I thought it had a little more orange on it than this. I don't think this is a sport, as it's blooming this way from top to bottom!

    Kathleen - I wondered about that, as I did compost and my water PH has changed due to the new well. But, my hydrangeas as still blooming blue!

  20. Everyone - NOTICE! - I just heard from some other Texas gardeners that their crossvines are blooming yellow now, too! Obviously, this heat wave we're having is affecting their color. I had never heard of this, but then again, we're setting records in both temperature and length of time this heat has continued. I suppose this plant is just stressed! I will watch it and let you know when it starts to bloom orange again, and what the temperature is at that time.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions! It's worrisome when something happens that you've never seen before!

  21. Please go back to gardenweb and let us know what color it bloomed for you in 2012???

    1. I was pleased to report that it bloomed it's usual orange after the temperatures returned to normal. I hope we never again have the duration of heat that we did that year!


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