Balloon vine

Cardiospermum grandiflorum


Photo credit: ©Tatiana Gerus
  • This species is a climbing woody vine with many lateral branches; it grows up to 8m long. Its flowers are small, and unisexual.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • It has a broad native range of much of Africa and the Americas. It is deemed invasive on some of the Pacific Islands.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • It can grow rapidly in tree crowns to form a thick wall of stems to exclude light. It can also harbour both plant and animal pests and diseases. The weight of many individuals can damage native trees, leading to disease and/or collapse.

How did it/could it get here?
  • It can be introduced as an ornamental plant intentionally, or spread unintentionally by water (including sea water) or soil

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • Not present in Northern Ireland.


You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Methods for Prevention:
  • EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
  • Report all sightings.

Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email:
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland