Plant of the Month | February 26, 2014

Plant of the Month: Crossvine


Crossvine (bignonia capreolata) is a plant for a large space. It will grow to 50’ or more, climbing by means of tendrils. These have small “claws” at the end which allow the vine to cling to stone or brick without any additional support. Its main attraction is the trumpet shaped flowers which appear in the spring and can completely cover the vine. These can be red with a yellow throat, yellow with a red throat or combinations of these colors. The vines are evergreen through most of Texas. The dark green leaves take on a purplish tinge in winter.

Crossvine is native from East Texas to Florida. In its natural locations it grows at the edge of moist woodlands, but it adapts to other situations as well. It will succeed in Blackland Prairie clay or limestone soils, although in the latter case it may take a few years for it to become fully established and vigorous. It will bloom best if planted in full sun, although it can tolerate part shade. In full sun, Crossvine benefits from some extra water and organic soil enrichment.

The trumpet shaped flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, and the vine tends to bloom during the spring migration period. Deer will browse the leaves, so it needs protection until it has grown tall enough to be out of reach.

Note: Crossvine is a NPSOT NICE! selection for Spring 2014.

Text by John Siemssen. Photos by Joseph A. Marcus, Wildflower Center