(trumpet creeper, trumpet vine, trumpet flower, cow-itch)
Bignoniaceae (bignonia family)
Zones: 5-10 (all of the South)
The native trumpet creeper is a common site on fence rows over the entire South. This tenacious, deciduous vine will not be denied. It grows were it wants. Fortunately its showier and not as rampant as kudzu and the hummingbirds like it. If it grew like kudzu, we'd have to fog the hummingbirds like mosquitos.
According to Raymond Taylor's Plants of Colonial Days (1952) it was sent to England as early as 1640 as Tecoma radicans. It was listed by Catesby, Bartram, and Walter as Bignonia radicans. It has always been cultivated in the South and was offered by a number of early southern nurseries. Today there are several cultivars of Campsis radicans including the yellow variety, flava.
The native Chinese species, C. grandiflora was found by Kaemfer in Japan as early as 1691 but not introduced to England until 1800. It has very large flowers and is only hardy to zone 7. Hybrids between the two species were developed in France and are known as C. x tagliabuana. The most common and popular of these is 'Madame Galen' which has huge showy red-orange flowers. It was introduced in 1889.
In the 1881-82 catalog, Langdon Nurseries near Mobile, Alabama listed "Bignonia radicans-orange scarlet trumpet flower" and "Bignonia grandiflora-Japan trumpet flower." The 1906-07 catalog of Fruitland Nurseries in Augusta, Georgia listed "Bignonia grandiflora" and "Bignonia hybrida."