Cardiospermum halicacabum

Scientific nameCardiospermum halicacabum
English: heart pea, heart seed, lesser balloon vine, love in a puff
Cambodia: am baeng baek, peng poh sraom, puos am baeng
Indonesia: paria gunung
Philippines: bangkolon, kana, paspalya
Viet Nam: cây tam phong
Herbaceous or slightly woody evergreen climber [up to 1–3 (–6) m high] with tendrils (slender, usually twisting structure which aids ‘climbing’); grooved stems.
Leaves: Bright green, hairless or covered in minute hairs, compound, leaflets arranged in three sets of three, narrow and tapering to a point (3–5 cm long), side leaflets smaller, margins with deep and sharp forward-pointing projections or teeth.
Flowers: White or yellow (2–3 mm long), in a few-flowered, open clusters, on long stalks (5–10 cm long); two (2 cm long) paired tendrils just below inflorescence.
Fruits: Capsules (dry fruits that open at maturity), green turning brown as they mature, membranous inflated, nearly globular (25–30 mm long); seeds black, round, with a kidney-shaped white spot.
Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa; Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela in South America; and the Caribbean.
Roadsides, disturbed land, wasteland, urban open space, crops, plantations, gardens, forest edges/gaps, riparian areas, swamps and wetlands.
Balloon vine smothers native vegetation, depriving it of sunlight and in so doing displaces native plant species. In Brazil, where C. halicacabum is considered to be native, it can reducesoybean crop yields by up to 26%(Brighenti et al., 2003; Dempsey, 2011). In Texas, there is also concern that it may contaminate certified soybean seeds since both seeds are similar in size and shape (Hurst, 1980). It is also considered to be a pest in sorghum, rice and oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia (Waterhouse, 1993).
Witt, Arne. 2017. Guide to the Naturalized and Invasive Plants of Southeast Asia. CAB International. Retrieved from on 8 October 2018
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Last updated on 02/13/2019 20:43