Periploca sepium - silk vine

A vigorous climber attaining the height of 10 m (1-2 m of new growth a year) with twining stems that wind around the support. It belongs to the Asclepiadaceae family. Its dark green glossy leaves resemble the leaves of White Willow in shape. 

The leaves turn yellow in autumn. The flowers are small (2,5 cm across), brownish-purple and are borne in cymes from June to August. Damaged stems bleed milky sap.


Silk Vine likes sunny positions and performs well in moderate soils. It’s sufficiently frost hardy and pest and disease resistant. It doesn’t require special care. You may occasionally trim back excessively overgrown stems. In March-April prune back all stems that are dead, superfluously tangled or suppressing the growth of other plants.

Silk Vine is a valuable but still little known climber for both public green spaces and private gardens. It looks charming growing over an arbour, a pergola, a gate, a fences or climbing up an old tree. Since it spreads by suckers, it’s better not planted among valuable plants.