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Balloon Vine, Love in a Puff, Heartseed - Cardiospermum halicacabum


Family: Sapindaceae - Soapberry family Genus Common Name: Balloonvine Native Status: IntroducedDicot Annual Biennial Perennial Herb Vine
Cardiospermum halicacabum - Balloon Vine, Love in a Puff, Heartseed. Introduced and spreading in the continental United States, Cardiospermum halicacabum is native to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The only balloonvine native to the continental United States is Cardiospermum dissectum, native to southern Texas.

This vine, which may grow to 10 feet long, climbing on fences and other plants via tendrils, may not survive winter in colder climates, but is considered a perennial in milder climates and be weedy and invasive in those areas. It is officially listed as a pest or noxious weed in Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MO, MS, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA

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Cardiospermum halicacabum

Distribution of Cardiospermum halicacabum in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 Aug 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-05Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Balloon Vine gets that common name from the enlarged seedpod, which is hollow and very lightweight. 3-chambered, it carries a seed in each chamber. I've read accounts describing dispersal via streams and wind the lightweight seedpod floats in water and wind to new locations.
Cardiospermum halicacabum

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Cardiospermum halicacabum has a tiny white blossom. While the blossom is pretty, you must look closely; this is clearly not the primary feature for which gardeners have chose this plant as an ornamental.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cardiospermum halicacabum

Site: Reflection Riding, Hamilton County, TN Date: 2010-September-05Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D60
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Click on the photo for a larger image
Cardiospermum halicacabum

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer