Lesser balloon vine

Lesser balloon vine

Cardiospermum halicacabum

Common Name:

Lesser balloon vine

Scientific Name:

Cardiospermum halicacabum


Alternative common names:

Heart pea, Winter Cherry, Love-in-a-puff, Blaasklimop (Afrikaans)

Description:

Balloon-vine is a perennial creeper; at its base, the plant's stem is only approximately 3 mm thick, but it can reach a height of up to 2 meters. The stem forms internodes length of 5-10 cm long. The grooved stem carries alternate double triad leaves, 3 to 5 cm long, which are hairless or covered in a soft down of hairs. The oval or lanceate leaves have a deeply serrated or lobated edge. The leaflets at the side are smaller.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Tropical regions of the Americas and Africa

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA 2020 Category 3

Where does this species come from?

Tropical regions of the Americas and Africa

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo, Mpumalanga

How does it spread?

By birds, wind and water

Why is it a problem?

Dense infestations can also impede access, increase the risk and intensity of fires and harbour pests and diseases.

What does it look like?

Leaves: The oval or lanceate leaves have a deeply serrated or lobated edge. The leaflets at the side are smaller.

Flowers: tiny radiate flowers are white

Fruit/seeds: The roughly 3 cm long green fruit is a blown up, almost entirely spherical capsule containing the characteristic seeds with their heart-shaped white markings.

Does the plant have any uses?

This plant has medicinal properties (it is used to treat allergies, hay fever, sneezing, and watery eyes.

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