Hummingbird Vine

Q: My wife and I were given a plant called hummingbird bush but we’re not sure how to take care of it. It has vining growth and the leaves grow along the entire stem and are very fine, almost hair-like. The flowers are brilliant scarlet and very small, about the size of a penny across the open end. What care does it require?

A: Two plants are known as hummingbird bush: Hamelia patens and Anisacanthus quadrifidus but I don’t think you have either of them. Both are shrubby and the leaves would not be described as “hair-like”.

I believe you were give hummingbird vine, Ipomoea quamoclit. It is an annual vine, bearing scarlet flowers and very fine leaves. It dies after the first frost but comes back in spring. Hummingbird vine is a member of the morning glory family and self-seeds prolifically in some gardens. Take note of its invasive potential and pull out any unwanted plants each April.

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