Campsis radicans

Family : Bignoniaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini



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Woody climber with deciduous leaves, vigourous, fast growing, Campsis radicans is native to central and eastern USA © Giuseppe Mazza

The Campsis radicans (L.) Seem. ex Bureau (1867) is native to central and eastern USA, and precisely : Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas.

The name of the genus comes from the Greek “kampé” = bent, with reference to the bent stamens; the Latin name of the species “radicans” = rooting, refers to the adventitious roots with which it anchors to the supports.

Common names: “bignonia” (Italian); “trumpet creeper”, “trumpet vine”, “cow-itch vine”, “devil’s shoelaces”, “shoestrings”, “hell vine” (English); “jasmine de Virginie”, “trompette de Virginie”, “jasmine trompette”, “bignone” (French); “Trompetenwinde”, “Trompetenblume”, “Jasmintrompete”, “Klettertrompete”, “Rote Trompete” (German); “enredadera de trompeta”, “jazmin de Virginia”, “bignonia roja”, “trompeta trepadora”, “trompetilla”, “trompa de fuego” (Spanish); “trompete vinha” (Portuguese).

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The inflorescences bear 8-12 imbutiform flowers, 3-4 cm broad. The corolla, usually red, can be also yellow © Giuseppe Mazza

Woody climber with deciduous leaves, sturdy, fast growing, which emits adventitious roots along the stem with which it adheres to walls, tress and various supports, it shows impari-pinnate leaves of a dark green colour, long up to about 30 cm, with 9-13 ovate-lanceolate leaflets, long up to 7 cm and wide 4, with jagged margins.

The terminal inflorescences carry 8-12 funnel-shaped flowers of a red or orange-red colour, of 6-8 cm of length and 3-4 cm of diameter; the fruits are woody capsules long up to 20 cm, containing many 2 cm long, flat and winged seeds. It reproduces by seed, semi-woody cutting in summer, radical cutting in winter, air and ground layering.

Plant of remarkable ornamental value, can be cultivated also in cold-temperate zones, as it can resist, during the vegetative rest, to temperatures up to -20°C.

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The fruits are woody capsules up to 20 cm long, containing many flat seeds. It loves the sun but resists to winter up to -20 °C © Giuseppe Mazza

It is not particularly demanding for what the soil is concerned, but is to be placed, in order to get an abundant blooming, in full sun; it can become invading, as it forms new plants even very far away from the mother plant. It is public knowledge that the contact with the leaves can cause skin reactions in particularly sensitive subjects.

Synonyms: Bignonia radicans L. (1753); Gelseminum radicans Kuntze (1891); Tecoma radicans de Candolle (1845); Bignonia radicans var. praecox Jaeger (1865); Campsis radicans f. flava (Bosse) Rehder (1926); Campsis radicans f. minor (de Candolle) Voss (1895); Campsis radicans f. praecox (Jaeger) Rehder (1940); Campsis radicans subf. praecox (Jaeger) Voss (1895); Campsis radicans var. atropurpurea (G. Kirchner) Voss (1895); Campsis radicans var. praecox (Jaeger) C. K. Schneider (1911); Campsis radicans var. speciosa (M. Parsons) Voss ex C. K. Schneider (1911); Tecoma radicans var. atropurpurea G. Kirchner (1864); Tecoma radicans var. flava Bosse (1842); Tecoma radicans var. lutea G. Kirchner (1864); Tecoma radicans var. minor de Candolle (1845); Tecoma radicans var. praecox (Jaeger) Jaeger (1884); Tecoma radicans var. speciosa (M. Parsons) Rehder (1902); Tecoma speciosa M. Parsons (1887).


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