Love-in-a-mist is a creeping vine which has an edible fruit and leaves that
have a mildly rank aroma. It is native to northern South America and the West
Indies. The stems are thin, wiry and woody, covered with sticky yellow hairs.
The leaves are three- to five-lobed and viscid-hairy. They give off an
unpleasant odour when crushed. The flowers are white to pale cream coloured,
about 5-6 cm diameter. The fruit is globose, 2-3 cm diameter, yellowish-orange
to red when ripe, and has numerous black seeds embedded in the pulp; the fruit
are eaten and the seeds dispersed by birds.
The bracts of this plant serve as insect traps, but it is as yet unknown
whether the plant digests and gains nourishment from the trapped insects or if
it merely uses the bracts as a defensive mechanism to protect its flowers and
fruit. This is still an issue of debate and research among carnivorous plant
This species can be helpful in treating digestive
problems, including dyspepsia and diarrhea; or used as an astringent and
expectorant for nervous conditions and spasms.