(Last Updated on : 02-07-2013)
Being named as 'Antigonon Leptopus' in science, the 'Coral Creeper' is very much popular as it has some lovely sprays of delicate pink coloured flowers. The word 'Antigonon' is derived from two Latin words. 'Anti' means "against" and 'Gonum' means, "angle". The shrub belongs to the 'Polygonaceae' family. It is called in a number of names in English. The names are: the 'Coral Creeper', 'Sandwich Island Creeper', 'Honolulu Creeper', 'Confederate Vine', 'Mountain Rose', 'Queen's Jewels' and 'Chain of Love'. People use them as a hardy perennial that is very suitable for covering fences, wall or pergolas. This is an asset to any garden.
The shrub is no doubt an extensively planted and well-loved climber. It is a deciduous plant. The leaves of the plant fall down in he month of February and for the next few months it appears in a very messy manner unless you trim and tide it up. To make up for this massy appearance, the two flowering periods of the plant are each quite long. They stay all through the rainy season and for several weeks during the Winter. When the Winter is over, the fresh green coloured leaves and twisted clumps of circular, pink coloured flowers make a lovely picture. The flower sprays of the 'Coral Creeper' are long and rounded and they bear a large number of side stems. Many of the sprays spring from the axils of leaves. Along one side of these stems, several 1.5 cm long round shaped flowers come together. They are diminishing in size to tiny pale pinheads towards the end. Beyond the flowers, the stem often divides into three segments shaping like hooks. The spray attaches itself to neighbouring stems by means of these segments.
The flower is like a deep cup when it is fully open. It has some orange anthers inside and it displays them. People call the coloured parts of the flowers as "Perianth Segments". It means that there is no difference between the petals and sepals in colour or structure. Not only this, there is only one series. The leaves of the 'Coral Creeper' are like hearts in shape or sometimes they are triangular. They are pointed and usually up to 7.5 cm in length. They rise from the stalk on short, pink coloured stems and they bend and fold in every direction. The surface of the leaves is wrinkled by the deep serration of the veins and the edges are a little wavy. They are bright green in colour and paler beneath. The fruit of the plant is a small nut that is sheathed by five heart-shaped leaves. These leaves form wings. The fruits are green at the beginning and by the course of time, they become brown and breakable. Like the flowers, they also develop in clusters.