2007 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winner
Bignonia capreolata L.
Bignonia capreolata (Cross Vine) is a 2007 Theodore Klein Plant Award Winner. An underutilized southeastern native woody vine that is found across all of Kentucky. It is more frequent “in calcareous soil on river banks and cliffs and in ravines” (Wharton and Barbour, Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky, 1973). The common name is a description of the cross-shaped branch pith. In full sun or partial shade it forms dense foliage and blooms prolifically. Semi-evergreen foliage of dark leathery green provides the perfect contrast for brilliant red-orange (occasionally scarlet) 5-lobed trumpet flowers that are a stunning yellow inside that runs out to the visibly obvious lips of the flower in late spring. The Outside bloom color ranges from yellow-orange ('Tangerine Beauty', see below left) to bright red ('Atrosanguinea'). The flowers occur in beautiful showy clusters. This clinging vine is excellent for rock walls or arbors and is highly pest resistant. Small discs on the end of tendrils allow it to fasten to the bark of trees and wood and masonry structures. It propagates from seed with no pretreatment and will root in high percentages; 1000 to 3000 KIBA is beneficial in the 8-10 weeks it takes June-July cuttings to form roots.
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