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Bignone de Virginie (Campsis radicans) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura
Bignone de Virginie (Campsis radicans) - Jardin botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton © MNHN - Agnès Iatzoura

Trumpet vine

This climbing shrub is native to the southeastern United States. It is mainly cultivated as a decorative plant for façades, pergolas, ground cover, in troughs and on balconies.

Identity Card

Common name
Trumpet vine, trumpet creeper, cow-itch vine
Binominal name
Campsis radicans (L.) Seem

Taxonomy

Kingdom
Plantae
Family
Bignoniaceae
Synonyms
Bignonia radicans L.

Detailed Informations

Area of origin
South-Eastern parts of the United States of America

Etymology

The name Campsis, "curved" (from Ancient Greek Kampsis) is a reference to the shape of its stamens. Radicans means in Latin "with stems that can emit roots".

Description and flowering period

Campsis radicans is a deciduous woody vine reaching 10  meters in height. Its fast growing stems can grow by1 meter per year in every direction. The stems bear small areal roots that can attach themselves onto any rugged surface. Its compound leaves are deciduous. Its showy flowers are trumpet-shaped and range in colour from orange to red with a yellowish throat, depending on the variety grown. They contain nectar and are very attractive to bees, hummingbirds as well as ants. The fruits are large pods each containing many small winged-seeds which are scattered by the wind.

Habitat

It requires a deep, humus-rich yet well drained soil in sheltered, sunny to partially shaded position. It tolerates drought as well as frosts. Stems are hardy down to -15°C whereas the rootstock can resist -20°C. It must not be planted right next to a tree in order to allow its rootstock to develop properly.

Uses

Ornamental: suitable for vine-covered homes, pergolas, as ground cover as well as grown in large containers on balconies.

Notes

The sap is highly irritant. The genus only consists of one other species: Campsis grandiflora which, contrary to this species, originates from China and Japan.

Translated by: François Saint-Hillier – MNHN