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Railroad vine is gorgeous way to control erosion

By SANIBEL-CAPTIVA CONSERVATION FOUNDATION - | Oct 7, 2020
SCCF Railroad vine
SCCF Railroad vine

The railroad vine is one of the most widely distributed beach plants. It grows all around the world limited only by temperature as it does not tolerate frost. The railroad vine is part of the morning glory family and, as expected, the flowers only last a day. The flowers, even though short-lived, attract many pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, moths, wasps and ants. The bright purple color and easy growing make it a nice addition to a home landscape. The seeds of the railroad vine are very light and small, making the winds and water excellent dispersal methods. It can grow year-round as long as there is water to keep it growing. And, keep growing it does. The branches of the vine may reach more than 30 feet long. The roots of the railroad vine will generate wherever the leaf connection touches the ground, enabling the plant to form large mats. The mats help make the railroad vine useful in stabilizing sand dunes and preventing coastal erosion. They also have substantial indirect economic benefits. It grows just above the high tide line and can create large mats of lush green leaves and vibrant purple flowers.