University of Illinois Extension
Common Vines

Common Annual Vines

Vine Height Fragrance Flower Color(s) Notes
Sweet pea
Lathyrus odoratus
Sweet pea
6 feet Yes Purple/Pink/White Keep cutting to promote flowering. Sow in mid-March to mid-April. Keep moist during growing.
Morning glory
Ipomoea tricolor
Morning glory
10 to 20 feet No Blue 'Heavenly Blue' is most common cultivar.
Morning glory
Ipomoea purpurea

10 to 15 feet No Purple, red, white, violet, blue Soak seeds overnight before planting. Sow when ground is warm in mid-April.
Moonflower
Ipomoea alba
10 to 30 feet Yes White Sow in May after soaking seeds overnight, or notching seeds. Flowers bloom in the evening, hence the name.
Cypress Vine
Ipomoea quamoclit
10 to 20 feet No Red, orange or white tubular flowers Treat like morning glories.
Cardinal climber
Ipomoea x multifida
10 to 20 feet No Red Will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Treat like morning glories.
Sweet potato vine
Ipomoea batatas
6 to 10 feet No Not grown for flowers 'Blackie' is a dark leafed cultivar; 'Tricolor' has shades of pink, cream, green; 'Chartreuse' is lime-green. Used for baskets and containers and also as a ground cover.
Spanish flag
Ipomoea x lobata

15 to 20 feet No Yellowish orange with hints of red Flowers shaped like freesia. Purplish stems. Plant in May after frost. Soak seeds before planting.
Canary bird vine
Tropaeolum peregrinum
5 to 10 feet No Yellow Prefers cool temperatures. Tolerates some shade. Plant after frost.
Love-in-a-puff
Cardiospermum halicacabum
10 feet No Not important. One-inch seedpod is tri-lobed and balloon-like. Sow in peat pots in March. Transplant in May. Can reseed.
Scarlet runner bean
Phaseolus coccineus
Scarlet runner bean
8 to 10 feet No Red with touches of orange. Also white, pink, bicolor. Attracts hummingbirds. Beans are edible when picked young. Seeds start out bright red then turn blue-black.
Hyacinth bean
Lablab purpureus
Hyacinth bean
15 to 20 feet No Purplish-pink. Seed pods are purple. Sow seeds indoors and plant in early May for quick start. One of the easiest to grow.
Black-eyed susan vine
Thunbergia alata
Black-eyed susan vine
5 to 10 feet No Yellow, orange, white with dark purple center Sow seeds early to transplant in May.
Cup and saucer vine
Cobaea scandens
20 to 30 feet Yes Violet-purple, white. Attractive green calyx looks like a saucer. Flowers not fragrant until fully open. Sow in February for transplanting in May.
Japanese hop
Humulus japonicus
Japanese hop
20 to 35 feet No Not important. Green papery seed pod from female flowers Self seeds. Plant seeds in mid-April. Drought and heat resistant.
Nasturtium
Tropaeolum majus
Nasturtium
up to 10 feet No Orange, red, yellow, white, bicolors Flowers are edible. Prefers loose soil. Don't fertilize. Doesn't like to be transplanted. Used in baskets and as a ground cover.