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Arizona Vine Planting Guide: A Visual Guide to Planting and Growing Low Desert Vines

If you are looking for vines that grow well in Arizona, you’ve come to the right place. Many types of vines are easy to grow and thrive year round in the low desert of Arizona

Vines add vertical dimension and beauty to our garden and landscapes, but knowing which one to plant and where to plant it can be tricky. 

This Arizona Vine Planting Guide shares some of my favorite vines that grow well in Arizona and gives growing and planting details for each one. Looking for trellis ideas? This post shares some of my favorites

This guide answers common questions such as:

  • “Which vines can handle full Arizona sun?” 
  • “Will this vine grow in the shade?”
  • “Can this vine take the heat from a reflected wall?”
  • “Could I plant this vine by my pool? Is it messy?”
  • “When does this vine bloom?” 
  • “Will this vine climb on its own, or does it need a trellis?” 
  • “How big does this vine get?”

Vines are an excellent option for small gardens because they require relatively little space and often provide a large impact. Use vines to create shade, cover bare fences and walls, grow food, attract pollinators, and add beauty to your landscape. 

Be sure to check out the end of this Arizona Vine Planting Guide for links to articles about what to do in your garden each month. 

How to Grow Coral Vine_ Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabillis)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Bougainvillea
vines that grow well in Arizona
Bougainvillea

How to grow bougainvillea in Arizona:

  • When to plant bougainvillea in Arizona: Spring and fall. Bougainvilleas often die back with cold weather but regrow in the spring. Foliage hardy to 30°F; roots hardy to 20°F. 

  • Where to plant bougainvillea: For the best blooms, choose an area that receives full sun. Bougainvilleas do well even in west-facing reflected afternoon sun. Bougainvilleas tolerate alkaline soil and extreme heat.

  • How big does bougainvillea get? Depending on the variety, they can be 15′-30′ tall and 10′-20′ wide. Fast growing. Grows well in containers. Containers help to control the size. 

  • Do I need to provide support for bougainvillea to grow vertically? Yes.

  • What color are bougainvillea flowers*? Most common color is magenta, but also comes in pink, salmon, white, orange, and red. *Bougainvillea flowers are tiny and white. The colorful part of bougainvillea are the bracts surrounding the small flowers. 

  • When does bougainvillea bloom? The largest flush of blooms is from October – May. 

  • Is bougainvillea messy? Yes. Prune frost-damaged or dead limbs in spring. Prune lightly in the summer if needed. 

  • Good to know: Drought-tolerant once established. Fertilize young plants with a balanced organic fertilizer each spring and fall. Fertilize established plants only occasionally. Water every 10 days during the summer and monthly in the winter. 

Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Cape Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Cape Honeysuckle

How to grow cape honeysuckle in Arizona:

  • When to plant cape honeysuckle in Arizona: Spring and fall. Hardy to 28°F. 

  • Where to plant cape honeysuckle: Full sun to partial shade. 

  • How large is cape honeysuckle? 3′-20′ tall and 5′ wide. Fast growing. 

  • Do I need to provide support for cape honeysuckle? Yes. Can be trained as a vine with support or pruned to a bush. 

  • What color are cape honeysuckle flowers? Bright orange-red.

  • When does cape honeysuckle bloom? Year-round in frost-free weather.

  • Is cape honeysuckle messy? Mild litter. Blooms and spent leaves drop throughout year.

  • Good to know: Attracts hummingbirds. Needs moderate water. Branches may die back in cold weather. Prune dead branches after last fall frost when new growth appears.

Carolina Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)

Gelsemium sempervirens
Carolina Jasmine
Gelsemium sempervirens
Carolina Jasmine

How to grow Carolina jasmine in Arizona:

  • When to plant Carolina jasmine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Evergreen.

  • Where to plant Carolina jasmine: Afternoon shade. 

  • How large is Carolina jasmine? 10′-15′ tall and wide. Fast growing. 

  • Do I need to provide support for Carolina jasmine? Yes. Vine gets top-heavy, prune back by 1/3 every year or cut back heavily every few years. 

  • What color are Carolina jasmine flowers? Yellow.

  • When does Carolina jasmine bloom? Late winter. 

  • Is Carolina jasmine messy? Mild litter. 

  • Good to know: Leaves may get chlorosis. All parts of the plant are poisonous. 

Cat's Claw Vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati)

Cat's Claw Vine
Cat's Claw Vine

How to grow cat's claw vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant cat’s claw vine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Hardy to about 20°F. 

  • Where to plant cat’s claw vine: Full sun to partial shade. Does best with north or east exposure. 

  • How large is cat’s claw vine? 30′ tall and 30′ wide. VERY fast growing. 

  • Do I need to provide support for cat’s claw vine? No. Long stems attach themselves to most surfaces with claw like tendrils. 

  • What color are cat’s claw vine flowers? Yellow

  • When does cat’s claw vine bloom? Spring.

  • Is cat’s claw vine messy? Mild litter. Loses leaves in cold winters. 

  • Good to know: Very aggressive and should not be planted where it can damage structures or cover existing plants. 

Climbing Roses (Rosa species)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Climbing Roses
vines that grow well in Arizona
Climbing Roses

How to grow climbing roses in Arizona:

  • When to plant climbing roses in Arizona: Plant bare-root roses in January and container grown roses in the spring and fall. Hardiness depends on variety grown. 

  • Where to plant climbing roses: Full sun. Plant in fertile, well-draining soil amended with compost. Plant above soil level. Mulch well, but do not allow mulch to touch bark. 

  • How big do climbing roses get? Up to 15′ tall and 15′ wide depending on the variety. Lightly prune to remove damaged stems in September. Prune heavily in January. Do not prune vertical canes until they are as large as you would like them. 

  • Do I need to provide support for climbing roses? Yes.  

  • What color are climbing roses flowers? Varies. 

  • When do climbing roses bloom? Spring – early summer and late fall. 

  • Are climbing roses messy? No. Keep spent roses deadheaded.

  • Good to know: Does best with regular feeding of balanced organic fertilizer every month during the growing season (Feb – May and September – October). Water deeply 2-3 times a week during the summer; less often during cooler months. 

Coral Vine (Queen's Wreath - Antigonon leptopus)

How to Grow Coral Vine: Growing Queen's Wreath and Mexican Creeper
Coral Vine (Queen's Wreath)
Coral vine
Coral Vine (Queen's Wreath)

How to grow coral vine (queen's wreath) in Arizona:

  • When to plant coral vine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Coral vine dies back with cold weather but regrows in the spring. Foliage hardy to 28°F; roots hardy to 20°F

  • Where to plant coral vine: Full sun to partial sun. Tolerates hot areas. Can be grown in native soil or fertile soil but needs well-draining soil. 

  • How big does coral vine get? 15′-30′ tall and 15′- 30′ wide. Very fast grower. Can be invasive in other climates. 

  • Do I need to provide support for coral vine? Yes. Grows well along an arbor or trellis. 

  • What color are coral vine flowers? Most often pink, but occasionally white or red. 

  • When does coral vine bloom? Blooms are showiest in October, but occasional blooms from spring through frost.

  • Is coral vine messy? Seasonally. Coral vine drops most of its leaves in winter. Cut back to a several inches above the ground each spring. Will regrow quickly. Prune lightly in the summer to maintain shape or train. 

  • Good to know: Apply a balanced organic fertilizer to young plants in early spring. Mulch well. Water established plants weekly during the summer. Rainfall is typically enough for winter watering. 

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow coral vine

Creeping Fig (Ficus pumilla)

Creeping Fig
Creeping Fig

How to grow creeping fig in Arizona:

  • When to plant creeping fig in Arizona: Spring and fall. Evergreen. 

  • Where to plant creeping fig: Most often used for covering tall structures and walls. Dense cover of dark green foliage. 

  • How big does creeping fig get? 30′ – 40′ tall and 30′- 40′ wide. High climbing evergreen vine. 

  • Do I need to provide support for coral vine? No. Uses aerial rootlets to climb and attach to masonry and almost any surface. Can be invasive. 

  • What color are creeping fig flowers? No flowers

  • Is creeping fig messy? Mild litter throughout the year. 

  • Good to know: Do not plant within proximity to water features to avoid damage from roots. Water deeply. 

Grape Ivy (Cissus trifoliata)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Grape Ivy
vines that grow well in Arizona
Grape Ivy

How to grow grape ivy in Arizona:

Arizona grape ivy is native to Arizona and is adapted to the soil and heat of the desert. It prefers shady conditions and grows rapidly. 
  • When to plant grape ivy: Spring and Fall. Foliage hardy to 30°F; roots hardy to 20°F.

  • Where to plant grape ivy: Partial to full shade. Tolerates most soils. Plant deeply and mulch well. 

  • How big does grape ivy get? 20”-30′ tall and 10′-20′ wide.

  • Do I need to provide support for grape ivy? Yes. Can be used as a ground cover but needs a trellis or arbor to climb. Tendrils will reach out and climb trellis. 

  • What color are grape ivy flowers? Very small white flowers that develop into even smaller grapes (the birds love them). 

  • When does grape ivy bloom? Late spring and summer. 

  • Is grape ivy messy? Loses some leaves during the winter; will drop all leaves in cold winters. Prune back to the ground in the spring to reduce size or reinvigorate the vines. 

  • Good to know: Drought-tolerant once established; water every 2-3 weeks in the summer. Grows well in containers. Containers help to control the size. 

Grapes (Vitis vinifera)

Arizona Fruit Planting Guide
Grapes
grapes
Grapes

How to grow grapes in Arizona:

Varieties of grapes that grow well in Arizona: Thompson Seedless; Ruby Seedless; Beauty Seedless; Flame Seedless.

Best time to plant grapes in Arizona: March – April.

Months to harvest: July – August.

Tips for how to grow grapes in Arizona: 

  • Roots go 2 feet deep; plant in rich soil.
  • Water slowly, deeply, and infrequently. During the summer, water every 7 to 10 days.
  • Fertilize mature grapes in February and May.
  • Learn how to train and prune. Prune while dormant in the winter.
  • Look out for Western grape leaf skeletonizer; use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt.) to control.
  • Provide support for growing grapes. 
  • Seasonal litter; grapes are deciduous. 

Lady Bank's Rose (Rosa banksiae)

lady bank's rose
Lady Bank's Rose
Lady Bank's Rose

How to grow Lady Bank's rose in Arizona:

Lady Bank’s rose is a large, heat-tolerant and disease-resistant rose that grows well in the low desert. 

  • When to plant Lady Bank’s rose: Spring and fall. Hardy to 25°F. Almost evergreen. 

  • Where to plant Lady Bank’s rose: Full sun; handles reflected heat; deep well-draining fertile soil. Add compost to planting area and plant slightly above the soil line. Mulch well, but keep mulch away from the bark. 

  • How big does Lady Bank’s rose get? 10′-20′ tall and 12′-20′ wide. Fast growing.

  • Do I need to provide support for Lady Bank’s rose? Yes, train along an arbor, trellis or fence. 

  • What color are Lady Bank’s rose flowers? Yellow or white.

  • When does Lady Bank’s rose bloom? April. Blooms form on old wood. Prune in spring to remove crossing, long, and spent canes at the base. 

  • Is Lady Bank’s rose messy? No, but it requires pruning each spring. 

  • Good to know: Does best with regular feeding of balanced organic fertilizer every other month during the growing season (Feb – May and September – October). 

Lavender Star Flower (Grewia occidentalis)

Lavender Starflower
Lavender Star Flower
Lavender Starflower
Lavender Star Flower

How to grow lavender star flower in Arizona:

  • When to plant lavender star flower in Arizona: Spring and fallHardy to 28°F.

  • Where to plant lavender star flower: Full sun to partial shade. Benefits from afternoon shade in the low desert. Does best with well-draining fertile soil. Add compost to planting area and plant slightly above the soil line. 

  • How big does lavender star flower get? 6′-10′ tall and 10′ wide. Fast growing. Cut back every couple of years to reinvigorate. 

  • Do I need to provide support for lavender star flower? Yes, if you want to train it as a vine. Lavender star flower does well when trained along an arbor, trellis, or fence. To train as a bush, keep branches trimmed back. 

  • What color are lavender star flowers? Purple.

  • When does lavender star flower bloom? Largest flush of blooms is in late spring with occasional flowering throughout the year.

  • Is lavender star flower messy? No, but it requires regular pruning. 

  • Good to know: Does best with regular feeding of an organic fertilizer for acid loving plants 2-3 times a year. 

Lilac Vine (Hardenbergia violacea)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Lilac Vine
vines that grow well in Arizona
Lilac Vine

How to grow lilac vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant lilac vine in Arizona: Spring and fall Hardy to 20°F. Evergreen vine. 

  • Where to plant lilac vine: Full sun to partial sun. Can be grown in native soil or fertile soil but needs well-draining soil. 

  • How big does lilac vine get? 15′ tall and 10′ wide; fast growing.

  • Do I need to provide support for lilac vine? Yes, twining vines require support to climb. Good grown along a fence or an arbor or trellis. 

  • What color are lilac vine flowers? Most often purple, but also white and pink.

  • When does lilac vine bloom? Winter to spring. 

  • Is lilac vine messy? Drops leaves occasionally; low litter. Prune in spring after bloom to remove dead or damaged wood. Do not prune in summer. Leaves are evergreen. 

  • Good to know: Drought-tolerant once established. Fertilize young plants with a balanced organic fertilizer each spring and fall. Fertilize established plants only occasionally.

Arizona Vine Planting Guide: A Visual Guide of Vines that Grow Well in Arizona

Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Passion Fruit
Passion Fruit

How to grow passion fruit in Arizona:

  • When to plant passion fruit in Arizona: Spring and fall. Protect from frost. Hardy to 30°F.

  • Where to plant passion fruit: Vine grows full sun, but fruiting is best with morning sun and afternoon shade. Grows best in deep, rich, well-draining soil. 

  • How big does passion fruit get? 10′-20′ tall and 10′ -20′ wide. Prune to control size and spread.

  • Do I need to provide support for passion fruit? Yes. 

  • What color are passion fruit flowers? Large white and purple flowers that develop into fruit if pollinated. 

  • When does passion fruit bloom? Spring. Fruit falls to the ground when ripe. 

  • Is passion fruit messy? Drops leaves throughout the growing season. 

  • Good to know: May take 2-3 years to begin producing fruit. Needs regular water. Apply citrus fertilizer in the spring and each month throughout the growing season. Passion fruit vines usually only live about 7 years. 

Pink Trumpet Vine (Podranea ricasoliana)

Pink Trumpet Flower
Pink Trumpet Vine
Pink Trumpet Vine

How to grow pink trumpet vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant pink trumpet vine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Foliage hardy to 25°F; roots hardy to 10°F.

  • Where to plant pink trumpet vine: Full sun to partial sun. Tolerant of strong sunlight. Can be grown in native soil or fertile soil but needs well-draining soil. 

  • How big does pink trumpet vine get? 20′ tall and 10′ wide. Moderate grower. 

  • Do I need to provide support for pink trumpet vine? Yes. Grows well along a wall or trellis. can be grown as a shrub or trained on a trellis. 

  • What color are pink trumpet vine flowers? Pink and purple. Large trumpet shaped blooms are striking.  

  • When does pink trumpet vine bloom? September – January

  • Is pink trumpet vine messy? Seasonally. Trumpet vine drops most of its leaves in winter. Prune in early spring (when new growth appears) to remove dead or damaged wood. Prune lightly as needed to maintain shape. Every other year prune back to ground or main trunk to reinvigorate. Best time to prune is in winter or early spring before new growth appears. 

  • Good to know: May take 2 years to become established. Does best with a balanced organic fertilizer feeding each spring. Mulch well before summer. Water weekly during the summer, every 2 weeks in the fall and spring, and each month in the winter once established. Water deeply. 

Potato Vine (Solanum jasminoides)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Potato Vine
vines that grow well in Arizona
Potato Vine

How to grow potato vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant potato vine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Hardy to 25°F.  Evergreen. 

  • Where to plant potato vine: Full sun. 

  • How big does potato vine get? 30′ tall and 10′ wide. Moderate grower. Prune each year in early spring. 

  • Do I need to provide support for potato vine? Yes. Twining vines do best with support. 

  • What color are potato vine flowers? White.

  • When does potato vine bloom? Spring and summer. 

  • Is potato vine messy? Low litter. 

  • Good to know: Grow on an overhead structure to provide summer shade. Moderate water use. 

Sky Flower (Duranta erecta)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Sky Flower
vines that grow well in Arizona
Sky Flower

How to grow sky flower in Arizona:

  • When to plant sky flower in Arizona: Spring and fall. Hardy to 25°F.

  • Where to plant sky flower: Full sun to partial sun. Tolerates reflected heat. Grows well in most soils. Plant a little higher than soil level. Mulch well, but do not allow mulch to touch bark. 

  • How big does sky flower get? 10′-25′ tall and 6′-10′ wide. Fast grower. Prune annually to keep desired shape. 

  • Do I need to provide support for sky flower? Yes, if you want to grow it as a vine, allow branches to grow long and provide support. Can also be pruned to bush form. 

  • What color are sky flower flowers? Typically purple, but blue and white varieties are available. 

  • When does sky flower bloom? Spring – summer.

  • Is sky flower messy? Seasonally. Sky flower will lose leaves in cold weather or drought conditions. 

  • Good to know: Water weekly in the summer and every few weeks in the winter. 

Arizona Vine Planting Guide: A Visual Guide of Vines that Grow Well in Arizona

Snail Vine (Vigna caracalla)

Snail Vine
Snail Vine

How to grow snail vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant snail vine in  Arizona: Spring and fall. Frost may kill top growth, cut back in early spring to rejuvenate growth. 

  • Where to plant snail vine: Excellent screen on wire fences, trellises and block walls. 

  • How big does snail vine get? 15′-20′ tall wide. Fast grower. Prune annually to keep desired shape. 

  • Do I need to provide support for snail vine? Yes, if you want to grow it as a vine, allow branches to grow long and provide support. 

  • What color are snail vine flowers? Typically lavender or pink.

  • When does snail vine bloom? Throughout the year.

  • Is snail vine messy? Seasonally. Snail vine will lose leaves in cold weather.

  • Good to know: Water weekly in the summer and every few weeks in the winter. Does best with regular deep watering. 

Arizona Vine Planting Guide: A Visual Guide of Vines that Grow Well in Arizona

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

vines that grow well in Arizona
Star Jasmine
vines that grow well in Arizona
Star Jasmine

How to grow star jasmine in Arizona:

  • When to plant star jasmine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Hardy to 10°F. 

  • Where to plant star jasmine: Partial sun; star jasmine needs afternoon shade to grow well in the low desert of Arizona. 

  • How big does star jasmine get? 8′-20′ tall and 20′ wide. Requires minimal pruning. 

  • Do I need to provide support for star jasmine? Yes. It will twine up a fence or trellis. 

  • What color are star jasmine flowers? White or yellow. Highly perfumed flowers. 

  • When does star jasmine bloom? Late spring, usually around April. 

  • Is star jasmine messy? Some litter. Drops flowers after blooming and leaves occasionally throughout the year. 

  • Good to know: Mulch well to prevent soil from drying out. Can take two years to become established. Once established it grows well. 

Tangerine Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

Tangerine Crossvine
Tangerine Crossvine

How to grow tangerine crossvine in Arizona:

  • When to plant tangerine crossvine in Arizona: Spring and fall. Evergreen foliage. Stems may die back to the ground in severe winters but will regrow in spring. 

  • Where to plant tangerine crossvine: Full sun to partial shade. Tolerates full shade but best flower production is in sun. 

  • How big does tangerine crossvine get? 20′ -30′ tall and wide. Prune after flowering, if desired. Vigorous and fast growing. 

  • Do I need to provide support for tangerine crossvine? No, climbs by branched tendrils with adhesive disks. Rapidly covers structures.  

  • What color are tangerine crossvine flowers? Tangerine

  • When does tangerine crossvine bloom? Summer. 

  • Is tangerine crossvine messy? Some litter. Drops flowers after blooming and leaves occasionally throughout the year. 

  • Good to know: Grows in average, well drained soils. 

Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)

Trumpet Creeper
Trumpet Creeper
Trumpet Creeper

How to grow trumpet creeper in Arizona:

  • When to plant trumpet creeper in Arizona: Spring and fall. Evergreen in mild winters. Foliage dies back in a frost, but regrows in the spring.  

  • Where to plant trumpet creeper: Full sun. Excellent on south or west walls. 

  • How big does trumpet creeper get? 20′ tall and 20′ wide.  

  • Do I need to provide support for trumpet creeper? Yes. 

  • What color are trumpet creeper flowers? Orange. 

  • When does trumpet creeper bloom? Summer through fall. 

  • Is trumpet creeper messy? Some litter. Drops flowers after blooming and leaves occasionally throughout the year. 

  • Good to know: Cut back long shoots to encourage blooming. Lush plants with few blooms means too much water and/or fertilizer. 

Yellow Orchid Vine (Mascagnia macroptera)

Yellow Orchid Vine
Yellow Orchid Vine

How to grow yellow orchid vine in Arizona:

  • When to plant yellow orchid vine in Arizona: Spring and fallHardy to 10°F. Semi-evergreen.

  • Where to plant yellow orchid vine: Full sun to partial shade. 

  • How big does yellow orchid vine get? 15′ tall and 15′ wide, twining.  

  • Do I need to provide support for yellow orchid vine? Yes. 

  • What color are yellow orchid vine flowers? Yellow, lightly fragranced. Flowers followed by large paperlike multi-winged pods that resemble butterflies. 

  • When does yellow orchid vine bloom? Late spring through early summer. 

  • Is yellow orchid vine messy? Seasonal litter, no thorns. 

  • Good to know: Can be pruned to a shrub or ground cover if grown without support. 

Annual vines (or vining plants) that grow well in Arizona:

Black Eyed Susan Vine
Cardinal Climber Vine
Cup and Saucer Vine
Scarlett Runner Bean

Luffa vines are legendary, they grow very fast and very long. This blogpost shares more information about how to grow luffa

Purple hyacinth vines are a beautiful addition to a garden. This blogpost shares more information about how to grow purple hyacinth bean vine.

This blogpost shares more information about malabar spinach.

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow Armenian cucumbers

Cucumbers love to grow vertically. This blogpost shares more information about how to grow cucumbers

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow tomatoes.

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow cucamelons

Sweet pea vines are beautiful during the cool months of the year. This blogpost shares more information about how to grow sweet peas

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow cantaloupe.

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow peas.

Tomatillo vines grow best vertically. This blogpost shares more information about how to grow tomatillos. 

This blogpost shares more information about how to grow winter squash.

Looking for more information about vines that grow well in Arizona? The book “Arizona Gardener’s Guide” and the pamphlet “Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert” were helpful resources as I compiled information about these vines. 

Would you like the low-desert planting dates for vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a convenient calendar? 

*PLANTING GUIDE: Each month has a planting guide (letter boards) for the vegetables, herbs, and flowers to plant in the low desert of Arizona. 

*HARVEST GUIDE: Harvest guides are the harvest photos of what it is possible to harvest each month. 

Wondering what to do in your Arizona garden each month?

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2 Comments on Arizona Vine Planting Guide: A Visual Guide for Low Desert Vines

  1. Hi,
    Should I fertilize star jasmine? It’s less than 2 years old. It looks OK. It flowers but has few leaves and is very slow growing. It was planted in regular, non-amended Tempe soil.
    Thanks!

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