Petrea volubilis, commonly known as purple wreath, queen's wreath or sandpaper vine, is an evergreen flowering vine in the family Verbenaceae, native to Tropical America, that is valued especially for its display of violet flowers.[1][2]

Petrea volubilis
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Petrea
P. volubilis
Binomial name
Petrea volubilis



As a climbing plant, it grows to a height of 12 m (39 ft), but as a shrub it grows to 4 m (13 ft) tall.[3] It is a vine or semi-climbing shrub with puberulent stems, sometimes reaching 10 cm (3.9 in) in diameter. Leaves are elliptical-oblong, 5–16cm long and 3–8cm wide, apex acute or obtuse, base wedge-shaped, entire margin, sometimes sinuous, glabrous or pubescent, rough to the touch; petiole 0.2–1 cm long.[4][2]

The flowers emerge from bracts.[5] Racemose inflorescences 8–20 cm long, axillary or terminal, solitary, puberulent rachis, 5-mere flowers on puberulent pedicels supported by a deciduous bract ; calyx tube 0.2–0.7 cm long, glabrous or puberulent, corolla infundibuliform, 1 cm long, puberulent, blue; ovary and glabrous style. Drupaceous fruit completely enclosed in the acrid calyx which acts as wings or floats.

Distribution and habitat


It is found especially on the banks of rivers and streams, from northern Mexico to Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay in the Antilles and in Venezuela. Depending on the climate, it can have up to two blooms in the year. Its very nectar-bearing flowers attract butterflies.[6]



In temperate climates, Petrea volubilis prefers full sun and can tolerate shade, although it will not flower profusely. It handles a very light and fleeting frost at temperatures down to -2 °C, but beyond this threshold the plant would die. It thrives in well drained, fertile soils and can tolerate drought.[7]

The Wayapi ethnic group traditionally uses a preparation with sap to treat burns, wounds, inflammation and abscesses, and in the Caribbean it is used to treat diarrhea.[8]


  1. ^ "Petrea volubilis L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  2. ^ a b "Petrea volubilis - Purple Wreath". Retrieved 2019-04-12.
  3. ^ Petrea volubilis L. Verbenaceae Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. 2021-02-04.
  4. ^ Correa A., M. D., C. Galdames & M. N. S. Stapf. 2004. Cat. Pl. Vasc. Panamá 1–599. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.
  5. ^ "Petrea volubilis". 6 March 2014. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  6. ^ Funk, V. A., P. E. Berry, S. Alexander, T. H. Hollowell & C. L. Kelloff. 2007. Checklist of the Plants of the Guiana Shield (Venezuela: Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro; Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 55: 1–584.
  7. ^ Petrea volubilis (queen's wreath) by Jeanine Vélez-Gavilán, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico from Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, 30 September 2019
  8. ^ Petrea volubilis - Pétrée volubile, Liane Saint Jean by Jardin L'Encyclopédie