Crossvine Hits the Big Time

Note: Photos used this week, unless otherwise noted, were posted to my Facebook page by friends in the past week. You’ll see why I wanted to feature this plant. Thanks to each of them for allowing this repost here.

The is the patriarch of the line, the crossvine that’s native across the South and Southeast. Photo by Nicole H.

The first crossvine I remember seeing was at the Dallas Arboretum probably 30 years ago. It was draped over the walls of the old herb garden of the Camp Estate. It’s a native vine from the East Texas forests, but somehow it and I had never crossed paths.

‘Tangerine Beauty’ is probably the most popular cultivar in nurseries today. Photo by Steve Huddleston of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

I’ve watched the plant catch the eyes of landscapers ever since – and plant collectors as well, because now we have several selections that offer a nice assortment of flower colors that range from golden yellow to orange to deep rusty red.

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But you can see all of that from the photos. Let me give you the facts about growing it.

It doesn’t get any better than this planting of Tangerine Beauty crossvine from Tom K’s garden in Richardson. Well done!

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
Here are the key things you’ll want to know about this lovely climber.

Crossvine Bignonia capreolata
Member of Bignoniaceae (the trumpetcreeper plant family).

Native range of crossvine, as shown on map from U.S. Forest Service. (It’s my assumption that if crossvine occurs natively in any part of a state, the entire state is shaded in.)

Native to the southeastern quarter of the United States, from the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean and also including the eastern regions of Texas.
Grows to 40-50 feet.

It’s hard to imagine any plant blooming more heavily. Tangerine Beauty crossvine. Photo by Jeff P who wanted to share his plant’s beauty with the world!

Best in full sun. Tolerant of some shade.
Prefers neutral or slightly acidic soil. May thin and weaken in highly alkaline soils.
Does best if kept uniformly moist (not allowed to struggle through droughts).
Climbs by tendrils and suction cup appendages.

A fence-full-of-flowers at Cyndi G’s house. Tangerine Beauty crossvine showing off its best effort.

Similar in appearance to trumpetcreeper, but more mannerly grower.
Propagated by cuttings or from seed. Cuttings are required for named varieties.
Many named selections are available. ‘Tangerine Beauty’ is the most common. Its name pretty well tells its story.

They’re big believers in Tangerine Beauty crossvines at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Photo taken by Steve Huddleston earlier this week.
Posted by Neil Sperry
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