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Trumpet Creeper, Cow Itch, Hell Vine, Devil's Shoestring - Campsis radicans


Family: Bignoniaceae - Bignonia family Genus Common Name: Trumpet Creeper Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Vine
Campsis radicans - Trumpet Creeper, Cow Itch, Hell Vine, Devil's Shoestring . Campsis is a genus of only two species - Campsis grandiflora is a plant of eastern Asia, and the North American species is Campsis radicans, a native of southeastern United States, but which has spread and naturalized much further north and west.

Found in:
AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WV, GS

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Campsis radicans

Distribution of Campsis radicans in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 Dec 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, Ga Date: 2004-June-26Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
The oranges to deeply reddish-orange flower of Trumpet Creeper is (not unexpectedly) trumpet shaped, with a long corolla tube and sharply reflexed lobes at the end. The long corolla tube makes it a favorite of hummingbirds.
Campsis radicans

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2016-June-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The inflorescence of Campsis radicans is a cluster of showy, attractive reddish-orange flowers showing up in early June and continuing to bloom until as late as September.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Campsis radicans

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2016-June-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Not only is the blossom reddish-orange, the calyx usually matches the blossom. The blossom is large, usually around 3 inches.
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Campsis radicans

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2016-June-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves of Trumpet Creeper are pinnately compound with as many as 15 leaflets. The leaflets are ovate to oblong with acuminate tips, rounded bases, and serrate margins. The leaflets can be as large as 4 inches; the entire compound leaf may be 15 inches long.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Campsis radicans

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2016-June-16Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Campsis radicans is a liana - a woody vine that doesn’t die back to a root in winter. It climbs not by tendrils (unlike a tendrilled species with which it is often confused - Crossvine), but rather via rootlets that grow at the nodes on the vine stem. Here you can see the aerial rootlets attached to house siding. These attach strongly enough that they can damage even concrete and bricks. The plant can climb high in forest canopies, with old plants reaching heights of 60 or 70 feet.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Campsis radicans

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer