Bignonia capreolata or Cross-Vine is an evergreen vine native from Maryland to Florida and westward to Texas. It is a very vigorous climber reaching up to 30 feet (>9 m) in height as it climbs on trees and other shrubs or trellises. The opposite compound leaves have 2 leaflets with a long slender tendril between them that will reach 3-5 inches (7.6-12.7 cm) long. They will take a wide variety of soil conditions and are very drought resistant. The one in the photo was planted 5 years ago on the east facing wall of the headhouse of the greenhouse. WARNING: Care should be taken when planting this species as they can become very invasive. Since these are very hardy we do not grow them in containers. Plants are hardy in the landscape in USDA zones 6-9.
Blooming: Bignonia capreolata or Cross-Vine blooms in late winter to early spring here in Oklahoma. Trumpet-shaped flowers are 2-3 inches (5.1-7.5 cm) long, orange to reddish orange to red in clusters of 2-5 flowers. They are one of the first flowers that open in the spring to greet returning hummingbirds. Very Showy!
Culture: Bignonia capreolata or Cross-Vine needs full sun to partial shade to do well in Oklahoma. They are not picky about soil type and will grow most anywhere that they are planted. Vines are very fast growers and can become a nuisance if growth is left unchecked. They will spread by underground suckers, reseed themselves readily and they can become very weedy in the landscape. One should keep suckers trimmed off and seed pods should be removed before they ripen. Although it is a low maintenance plant, one will have work considerably to keep unwanted growth in check.
Propagation: Bignonia capreolata or Cross-Vine is propagated by cuttings, removal of suckers and from seed.
Bignonia capreolata was featured as Plant of the Week April 15-21, 2011.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.