Trumpet vine

Flowers of trumpet vine.

Trumpet vine is a woody, clinging vine which attaches itself to structures by aerial rootlets. It can rapidly grow to 30 to 40 feet high. Terminal clusters of 2 to 3 inch long, red trumpet-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds throughout the summer.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

Botanical name:

Campsis radicans

All Common Names:

Trumpet vine, trumpetcreeper, trumpet creeper

Family (English):

Bignonia

Family (Botanic):

Bignoniaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Vine

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Illinois,
  • North America

Landscape Uses:

  • Massing,
  • Screen,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Season of Interest:

  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Orange,
  • Red,
  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Vining

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size and method of climbing

This 30 to 40 foot vine is a clinging vine.  Clinging vines attach themselves directly to a surface by means of holdfasts (adhesive discs) or by small aerial roots.  Trumpet vines has ther aerial rootls.  This type of vine grows best on a flat surface, such as stone, masonry walls and wood.

Trumpet vine can be aggressive and rampant.

Plant Care

A strong trellis or structure needed to support vine.
Flowers on new wood, plants can be cut back to a few buds in the spring.
Full sun to part shade; tolerant of heat and drought

Disease, pests, and problems

No serious problems.
Can spread by suckers.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to the southern United States up into the Midwest.

Leaf description

Opposite,  pinnately compound leaves can reach 6 to 15 inches long.
Shiny green leaves are coarsely toothed.  Fall color is a poor yellow-green.

Flower description

Clusters of red, orange or yellow trumpet-shaped flowers up to 3 inches long bloom throughout the summer.

Fruit description

3 to 5 inch long,  bean-like seed pods split open releasing numerous 2-winged seeds for dispersal by the wind.

Cultivars and their differences

Atropurpurea trumpet vine (Campsis radicans 'Atropurpurea'):  Deep red flowers.

Balboa Sunset® trumpet vine (Campsis radicans 'Monbal'):  Red-orange flowers.

Minnesota Red trumpet vine (Campsis radicans 'Minnesota Red'):  Red flowers.

Yellow trumpet vine (Campsis radicans 'Flava'):  Yellow flowers.

Location of Campsis radicans (Trumpet vine) at the Arboretum