Wine Cups

Scientific name: Callirhoe involucrata
Abundance: uncommon
What: Leaves, tubers
How: leaves cooked, tubers raw or cooked
Where: Sunny areas, ditches, abandoned yards, dry sandy fields
When: All year though tubers are hard to find in the winter without the flowers marking the spot.
Nutritional Value: carbohydrates in tubers

Leaf Arrangement: The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.

Leaf Shape: Leaves are deeply lobed, palmate with 5-7 lobes, and approximately 2 to 4 inches in width.

Leaf Venation: The leaf venation is not distinctive.

Leaf Margin: The leaf margin is typically toothed.

Leaf Color: The leaves of wine cups are medium green.

Flower Structure: Solitary cup-shaped flowers with five deep magenta to purple petals. The flower measures approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.

Flower Color: The flowers are a vibrant magenta to deep purple. Center of flower may be lighter in color.

Fruit: The fruit is a small, hairy, flattish, segmented, disk-shaped capsule.

Seed: Seeds are small and brown, typically found within the capsule.

Stem: The stem is trailing or sprawling across the ground.

Hairs: Fine hairs can be found on the stem and leaves, giving a slightly rough texture.

Height: Wine cups typically grows to a height of 6 to 12 inches.

Wine Cup flower

Close-up of flower

Wine cup leaves and flower.

Wine cup "fruit".

Whole plant in Spring

Plant in Fall/Winter

Whole plant in Fall/Winter


Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Wine cup tubers can be found in dry, sandy fields, especially in the Texas Hill Country. The leaves are best cooked where their okra-like tendencies can be used to thicken stews. The tubers taste like sweet potatoes and can be eaten raw or cooked. The tubers are biggest in the winter, but are very hard to find then without the wine cup flower showing their location.

The long, almost vine-like stems of wine cups grow in a rosette centered on the tuber. These tubers are covered in fine, delicate roots that often get damaged while digging up the tuber, rendering them unable to survive transplanting. If you dig it you have to eat it, otherwise you're wasting it.

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