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Published In: Monographie des Bignoniacées. 2e these 2(Atlas): 16. 1864. (Monogr. Bignon.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Campsis radicans (L.) Seem. (trumpet creeper, trumpet vine, devil’s shoelaces, devil’s shoestrings, hell vine)

Pl. 304 i, j; Map 1281

Plants lianas, lacking tendrils, creeping or climbing, with aerial rootlets along the stems. Stems to 20 m long, glabrous or inconspicuously hairy at the nodes, usually finely ridged, the older ones often angled or somewhat flattened, the yellowish brown bark often peeling in thin, tangled strips. Leaves opposite, pinnately compound with (5–)7–11(–13) leaflets, petiolate. Leaflets 2–8 cm long, lanceolate to ovate, rounded or narrowed to a short, winged stalk at the base, long-tapered to a sharply pointed tip, the margins coarsely toothed, the upper surface glabrous, the undersurface sparsely pubescent with minute, unbranched hairs along the main veins. Inflorescences short, terminal panicles, appearing as clusters. Calyces 15–22 mm long, 5-lobed, glabrous (but with scattered inconspicuous glands toward the base of the lobes), reddish green, the lobes shorter than the tube, triangular. Corollas 6–9 cm long, somewhat zygomorphic, glabrous, thickened, somewhat waxy-textured, red to reddish orange, yellowish orange toward the base, 5-lobed, only slightly 2-lipped, the tube narrowly bell-shaped to nearly cylindrical, the lobes much shorter than the tube, somewhat overlapping, the upper 2 lobes slightly smaller than the others, the margins entire or slightly irregular. Stamens 4. Staminodes absent. Fruits 10–28 cm long, slightly flattened, elliptic in cross-section with noticeable ridges along the sutures between the valves, the valves glabrous, with a leathery texture, and tan to brown at maturity. Seeds with the body 6–9 mm long, flattened, the body elliptic in outline, 2-lobed, brown, with a wing at each end, the wings papery, light tan, with irregular margins. 2n=40. May–August.

Common throughout the state (eastern U.S. west to South Dakota and Texas). Bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, and banks of streams and rivers; also fencerows, pastures, fallow fields, old fields, roadsides, railroads, and open, disturbed areas.

Although it is found in a number of natural habitats, trumpet creeper is a disturbance-adapted species. It frequently is encountered along roadsides, where it often climbs on other vegetation and telephone poles. It is cultivated as an ornamental for trellises and fences, but care must be taken as mature plants can become massive enough that their weight will cause insufficiently supported structures to collapse. Handling plants can also cause dermatitis in some individuals (Steyermark, 1963). The exterior of the flowers is usually bright orangish red to red, but occasional plants may have orange or peach-colored flowers. Flowers of trumpet creeper are pollinated primarily by hummingbirds and secondarily by bumblebees and honeybees (Bertin, 1982). In addition to nectar produced in the flowers, C. radicans also has small nectar-producing glands on the outside of the flowers and fruits, as well as along the petioles. These nectaries, which appear as inconspicuous pustular or platelike glands, attract ants, which usually are abundant on the plants and use the exudate for food. However, Stevens (1990) was unable to document an obligate ant-plant relationship, in spite of indications from her data that patrolling by ants may reduce the incidence of fruit infestation by parasitic moth species.



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