Alien Invasives

Balloon Vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)


04 October 2016

Balloon Vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)

Balloon vine is a perennial, slightly woody climber that easily clambers up tall trees six metres or higher. It often drapes itself over entire mature trees. Stems are covered with bristly hairsand the bright green leaves are strongly serrated. From October to January the vines are covered in white or yellow, fragrant flowers followed by inflated fruit capsules which start green and eventually turn brown (not unlike the Cape Goosebery).

Other names
Heart Pea, Heart Seed (English)
Blaasklimop, Opblaasboontjie (Afrikaans)
intandela, uzipho (isiZulu)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b (Proposed)
CARA 2002 Category 1

Balloon Vine
Originally from
Tropical South America (Brazil and eastern Argentina)
Where is it a problem?
KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. Often rampant along watercourses.
How does it spread?
Seed dispersal in huge numbers
Why is it a problem?
Grows over and smothers indigenous species, including large trees
Planting alternatives
Canary Creeper (Senecio tamoides), Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata), Traveller’s Joy (Clematis brachiata)
Originally brought in as a garden ornamental

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