Q: I've seen a lot of orange flowering vines in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties lately. They are really pretty. What are they and where can I get them?
A: What you're probably seeing is the flame vine or Pyrostegia venusta . This non-native vine flowers in the winter and sports tubular flowers, 2 to 3 inches in length, that form in clusters of approximately 20 flowers. It prefers full sun to part shade, has high salt tolerance and can reach a height of 80 feet.
This plant is a deciduous perennial with dense foliage and flowers. Flame vine is very aggressive. Depending on the amount of maintenance you want to take on, you may be better served by selecting another orange-flowered plant that is not as aggressive; such as orange flame vine, Combretum fruticosum . Orange flame vine flowers in the summer and fall has moderate drought and poor salt tolerance, prefers full sun and does well in any type of soil. You may be able to find this vine in garden centers or specialty catalogs.
Another orange flowering vine is Mexican flame vine, Senecio confusus , which produces orange-colored daisy-like flowers and also is quite aggressive if not controlled. Just know that if you choose flame or Mexican flame vines and do not control them by significant pruning after flowering, you will see everything from fences, other landscape plants and structures covered by these vines.
For information on orange-colored and other flowering vines, please see "Orange Blazing Vines Make A Show" by Ralph Mitchell at http://charlotte.ifas.ufl.edu/horticulture/newsarticles/OrangeBlazingVines.pdf; "Flowering Vines for Florida" by Sydney Park Brown and Gary W. Knox at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg097; and "Orange Flame Vine" by Edward F. Gilman at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FP/FP13800.pdf.