Friday Flower – My Bleeding Heart Vine

My Bleeding Heart Vine - Photograph by Laura Lecce
My Bleeding Heart Vine – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This adorable little red flower is from a Bleeding Heart Vine (Clerodendrum thomsomiae), a native to tropical west Africa. This plant utilizes two reproductive strategies, dichogamy and herkagomy which mean that the stamens (male reproductive parts) ripen at a different time and are spatially separated to the pistil (female reproductive part), thus ensuring that this plant cannot self pollinate. Instead, the hard work is accomplished by butterflies and hummingbirds which spread the pollen to other plants. This also means that the genetic diversity of this plant is increased through combining the genes of separate plants, providing a higher chance of adaptation and evolutionary survival. Too much science for a Friday? In that case, happy weekend everyone!

18 thoughts on “Friday Flower – My Bleeding Heart Vine

  1. What a super-beautiful photo!!
    I always find common names interesting, as we here over the pond, have a ‘bleeding heart’ also. Not related at all (dicentra spectabalis) and looks completely different.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the compliment!
      I did notice there were other bleeding hearts (so I was careful to specifically call it a bleeding heart vine). The one you mentioned is absolutely adorable, all of these pink hanging heart in a row. So cute! Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s such a long time for a program to run! For me, everyday is a science day (and believe me, I don’t always appreciate that!). Especially when I finally think I’ve figured out the science, only to realize that science has proved me wrong, and once again I need to keep searching for the answer. Sometimes I think biology is so mind-blowingly complex that we will never have anything figured out (the universe just keeps getting bigger). I do however love a challenge!


      1. My first daughter, Squiddy, has a T-shirt with stick-figures and a warning that says, “Stand back–I’m about to do science!” I’d love to have one for my own, and if I can find the source through her, I’ll send you one!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This plant needs direct sun in order to bloom well; a sunny window may be sufficient if you don t move the container outdoors for the season. Water and fertilize regularly when actively growing. Use a rich but well-drained potting medium and keep moist but not wet. Since blooms on new growth, it is best to cut the plant back after blooming. Thin out old overcrowded shoots and any other far-reaching growth to keep the vine in bounds don t be afraid to prune severely. Bleeding heart vine has few pests but mealybugs and spider mites can occasionally be problems.


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