The Encyclopedia of House Plants

Click a link for description, or click a picture to see a larger image


Family: Euphorbiaceae.

Common name(s): Costa Rican Butterfly Vine
Dalechampia Genus of about 110 species of evergreen, perennial shrubs or vines from tropical regions worldwide. Flowering with coloured bracts throughout the year. Two large bright purple wings attached to a small bight red swollen centre with two yellow eyes perfectly mimick a butterfly. The flowers are 3 to 4 inches from "wing to wing" and last 4-5 weeks. The bract are pigmented with anthocyanins and attract special species of tropical bees, which collect a sticky substance from a gland and pollinate the female flower with pollen carried from tiny male flowers.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Sun or part sun, rich soil, minimium temperature 50F (10C). Water moderately in growing season, reduce watering in winter. Mist daily. Root stem cuttings. Sow seed.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Dick alderden
20th Dec 2005
Dalechampia is a beautiful outdoor plant, however by touching the leaves, itching will be for a long while. This is the only negative aspect about this specie.
Florida, USA
26th Apr 2011
Vigorous grower, will quickly cover anything near it unless vigilantly contained by trimming. The tendrils that reach to extend the plant's coverage can easily be clipped off and stripped of their lower leaves to be used as cuttings which will begin to take root in a few weeks. Grows well in Florida, and is tolerant of moderate dry spells and heavy rains. Skin irritation is subject to the individual. I don't experience symptoms myself regardless of plant contact, but many people do experience moderate irritation. This plant is poisonous to pets, so take care when planting. Generally does not enjoy full shade, preferring partial to full sun.
These materials are freely provided for instructional and educational purposes. Any duplication or publication of text or images herein for commercial gain without explicit written permission of the owner or photographer constitutes breach of trust and violation of copyright.
Copyright © Galka Okhapkina 1998-2024