Cross vine trumpet flowers pose prettily at pondside hoping to host hungry hummingbirds.
Cross vine is a fast-growing, high-climbing vine with opposite, compound leaves having just two leaflets that are 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long with a long slender tendril between them. The showy flowers appear in late winter and early spring. They are trumpet-shaped, orange to reddish-orange to red, 2-3 in (5.1-7.6 cm) long and borne in clusters of 2-5. The fruits are flattened pod-like pendants 5-9 in (12.7-22.9 cm) long.
Location Bignonia capreolata is native to southeastern North America, from Maryland to Florida, and west to Missouri and Texas. It occurs widely in uplands, lowlands, forests, and clearings, and is hardy to USDA Zone 6.
Cross vine will flourish under a wide variety of conditions, and spread by root sprouting if not managed. Plant at base of pine trees, along a back fence, or provide a trellis. The vine will climb to find sunlight. There are no pest problems. Light: Light (filtered) shade to part sun to full sun. Moisture: Drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6-9. Propagation: Seeds; or by digging sprouts.
Jack grows cross vine at the edge of the Catfish Pond where it climbs high up into the pine trees and wide across the top of a colony of dahoon hollies (Ilex cassine).
Fast-growing cross vine makes an outstanding screen when trained to a trellis. The vine will clamber up a tall pine tree, while brilliantly colored clusters of trumpet flowers cascade back down along the trunk.
Cross vine is one of the first red, trumpet shaped flowers to greet returning hummingbirds in early spring. The related trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is similar, but climbs with ivylike aerial roots instead of tendrils and blooms later in the summer. Plant the two together, and you and the hummingbirds will have flame colored tubular flowers from which to feed from early spring and throughout the summer.