The deciduous, fast-growing, creeping vine climbs twelve to fifteen feet with tendrils and thin stems that are covered with sticky, yellow hair. Its dark green foliage has three- to five-lobed leaves and produces an unpleasant aroma when crushed. The exquisite blooms are white, pink, and deep purple with colored bracts, and it blooms from late spring to early summer. While beautiful, the blossoms can also produce an unpleasant odor. This plant is a butterfly, bird, and bee attracter. The flower bracts of this plant also serve as an insect trap. Its blossoms open in the morning and close in the evening. After blooming, the plant produces a sweet, kumquat-sized, edible, yellowish-orange fruit with black seeds. The fruits are eaten by birds, which disperse the seeds. There are some medicinal applications to the leaves but some parts of this plant can be poisonous. The dry leaves of this plant have been used in a tea in Vietnamese folklore, or as a medicine to relieve sleep problems and tension. Use it for its amazing flowers to cover a wall or trellis, train on arbors, or use it in entryways and patios. It is native to tropical areas of southern Europe, northern South America, the West Indies, Vietnam, and Hawaii. It can be an invasive species in some areas.
As a landscape plant, it prefers moist conditions with well-draining soil. Do not over-water this vine. Plant it in full sun to partial shade. It is hardy to about thirty degrees Fahrenheit, and if frosted back, it recovers quickly in the spring.