The Rubber Vine is a woody climbing shrub with glossy, dark green leaves and lavender-pink, bell-shaped flowers. It is cultivated in warm regions for its abundant flowers and for its evergreen leaves. It is a scrambling, many-stemmed vine that grows to 6 feet tall with long trailing stems. Flowers are large and showy, with five white to light purple petals in a funnel shape. The flowers resemble those of the purple Allamanda (Allamanda violacea). The Rubber Vine originates from Madagascar and was formerly grown there and later in India to produce a rubber latex. Leaves are dark green and glossy, 6-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide and in opposite pairs, oblong-ovate to elliptic-ovate. The growth form of rubber vine differs depending on the surrounding conditions. It can grow as a free-standing shrub up to 6 feet tall in the open and it can grow as a large vine with long stems on other vegetation. The stems can be up to 100 feet long. Each flower produces a pair of pods which contain a number of brown seeds which have a tuft of white, silky hairs. The Rubber Vine is poisonous. It is not shipped to Australia. Zones 9-11.
The seeds can be sown on the ground in the spring or summer or they can be grown in pots at any time of the year.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.