Written by Don Richardson 
Garlic Vine (mansoa hymenaea)
Plant Type
Perennial Vine
6-8’ long
Sun Exposure
Full sun
Soil Type
All soil types
Soil pH
5.0-6.5 slightly acidic - alkaline
Bloom Time
Spring & Fall
Hardiness Zones
8b-11   Food Forest Plant
Moderate Water, well drained
34°F –  Drought tolerant 
Self Pollination 
Edible Plant
Yes (entire plant is edible)
Medicinal Plant
Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant.

The mansoa hymenaea, known more commonly as the garlic vine plant, is a species of liana native to tropical and subtropical parts of Central America. It can be found in rainforests and evergreen forests from Mexico south to Brazil. This woody vine is highly appreciated for its ornamental value, thanks to its fragrant flowers and edible fruits. It is popularly cultivated for its fragrant flowers and pungent foliage. In addition to its ornamental value, it has also been used in traditional medicine for its various medicinal properties. Let’s take a closer look at this woody vine and learn more about it.
Identification of the Mansoa Hymenaea Plant 
The garlic vine plant typically grows white or violet color flowers and have a spicy garlic-like aroma that’s particularly prominent at night. The fruit of this plant is an edible berry that’s yellow-orange when ripe and contains small, hard seeds. The leaves are entire and glossy, with a leathery texture on the upper side. They have an unmistakable smell of garlic when touched or crushed.
Uses and Benefits of Garlic Vine 
This species is popularly used as an ornamental plant due to its pleasing appearance and distinctive smell. Its berries are also edible, although they are not widely consumed because of their bitter taste when unripe. The garlic vine plant has been traditionally used as a culinary herb due to its pungent flavor and aroma. Its leaves are sometimes added to salads or cooked dishes to provide an extra kick of flavor. In addition, this plant produces nectar which attracts different kinds of wildlife such as birds and butterflies into gardens where it grows wild. Furthermore, this species of liana has also been used in traditional medicine for various medicinal purposes such as treating infections caused by bacteria and fungus as well as providing relief from pain and inflammation.  Its bark has been used medicinally for many years by some Amerindian groups for treating skin ailments such as eczema or wound healing issues like sores or abscesses.
Cultivation & Care Instructions 
The garlic vine plant is easy to grow provided you follow some simple care instructions such as providing sufficient sunlight (at least 6 hours per day). The plant prefers temperatures between 65°F – 77°F, will go to temperatures as low as 34°F before taking cold damage. This species is quite drought-tolerant but will grow better if watered regularly during dry periods; however, it should not be overwatered or exposed to excessive moisture levels since this could lead to root rot issues. Pruning should be done regularly to promote new growth and maintain a tidy shape for decorative purposes.
 The mansoa hymenaea is an interesting species that provides multiple benefits for gardeners looking for an attractive yet low-maintenance ornamental vine that can attract wildlife into their gardens while providing them with fragrant flowers throughout the year as well as edible fruits if desired. Growing this garlic vine requires minimal effort but yields great results if given enough sunlight, water, and occasional pruning sessions over time!


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