Bignonia capreolata: A Vigorous and Showy Vine for Your Garden

    Bignonia capreolata: A Vigorous and Showy Vine for Your Garden

    If you are looking for a fast-growing, evergreen vine that produces stunning flowers in spring, you might want to consider Bignonia capreolata, also known as crossvine, cross-vine, or trumpet flower. This vine is native to the southeastern United States, where it grows in swampy forests and woodlands. It belongs to the Bignoniaceae family, which includes other ornamental vines such as trumpet creeper and jacaranda.

    Crossvine gets its common name from the cross-shaped pattern that is revealed when the stem is cut. This pattern results from four radial wedges of phloem embedded within the stem’s xylem. The vine climbs by using tendrils to wrap around stems or bark for support as it grows up tall objects like fences or pine trees. It can reach up to 50 feet in height and spread over a large area.

    The main attraction of crossvine is its clusters of two to five trumpet-shaped flowers that appear in late winter to early spring on new wood. The flowers are usually orange-red with yellow throats, but some cultivars have different colors, such as ‘Tangerine Beauty’, which has deep orange flowers. The flowers are fragrant and attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The flowers are followed by long, slender seed pods that contain winged seeds.

    Crossvine has glossy, dark green leaves that are four to six inches long and composed of two leaflets. The leaves are evergreen in mild climates, but may turn reddish-purple in colder areas or drop some leaves in winter. The vine is hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9 and tolerates a wide range of soil types and light conditions. It prefers organically rich, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade, but it can also grow in dry, poor soil and deep shade. It is drought tolerant once established and resistant to deer and beavers.

    Crossvine is easy to grow and requires little maintenance. It can be propagated by seeds or softwood cuttings. Seeds can be sown directly in the ground or in pots in spring or fall. Cuttings can be taken in summer and rooted in a moist medium. Crossvine can be pruned after flowering to control its size and shape, or left to grow naturally. It has no major pests or diseases, but it may become invasive if not contained. It spreads by seeds and root suckers, so it is advisable to remove any unwanted shoots as soon as they appear.

    Crossvine is a versatile and attractive vine that can be used for various purposes in the garden. It can cover walls, fences, arbors, pergolas, or trellises with its lush foliage and colorful flowers. It can also be grown as a ground cover or trained as a shrub or small tree. It can provide shade, privacy, and wildlife habitat. It can add a tropical feel to your landscape or complement a colonial-style garden. Crossvine is also a good choice for native gardens, children’s gardens, playgrounds, pollinator gardens, and coastal gardens .

    Whatever your gardening style or needs are, crossvine can offer you beauty and benefits throughout the year.

    Hi, I’m Adam Smith

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