This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, heart-seed, from the white heart-shaped spot on the round black seed; hence the plant was thought a cure for heart diseases). Sapindaceae. Tendril-climbing tropical herbs.
Leaves alternate, biter-nate; leaflets coarsely serrate: flowers small, white, polygamous or dioecious, in axillary racemes or corymbs; sepals and petals 4, in pairs; stamens 8; ovary 3-celled, followed by a membranous caps. -A dozen species widely d i s t r i b-uted. The most popular is the interesting balloon-vine, which is a rapid-growing, woody perennial, behaving as an annual, curious for its inflated seed-vessels. Fig. 793. Prop, by seeds.
Fig. 793. Fruit of Cardiospermum.
Halicacabum, Linn. Fig. 794. Balloon -Vine. Heart-Seed . Heart-Pea. Height 10 ft.: stem and branches grooved: leaves glabrous, oblong-acuminate, deeply dentate: balloons an inch or more thick. tropical India, Africa, and Amer. B.M. 1049. -A general favorite, especially with children. Grown as a garden annual.
Fig. 794. Balloon-Vine-Cardiospermum Halicacabum. (X 1/3)
Wild. Creeping or ascending perennial vine with densely hairy grooved stem and leaves as in the preceding, but usually hairy on the under surface: flowers not showy: fruit pointed, hirsute; the globular chocolate-brown seed is borne on the detaching parachutelike dissepiment. Africa - A useful perennial in S. Calif, for covering arbors; evergreen and blooming continuously. N. Taylor.†