Campsis radicans - Trumpet Creeper

Picture of Campsis radicansWhile it is true that Campsis radicans (also known under the genus names Tecoma and Bignonia) is native to North America, New England is located several degrees of latitude north of the plant's natural range.  Gardeners value the "Trumpet Creeper" for its bright orange tubular flowers, which can attract hummingbirds.  But this favorite of horticulturalists has set out on its own, and is now naturalized all over Massachusetts (Neiring and Olmstead 1979).

Trumpet Creeper vine was being cultivated in Massachusetts as early as the 1840's, when George Emerson noted in his Report on the Trees and Shrubs growing naturally in the Forests of Massachusetts (1846) that individuals were "extensively introduced as ornamental plants, but are not found growing naturally in this State."  As the animated image below indicates, the first citing of C. radicans growing on its own came not long after in the town of New Bedford (Bristol County).  It is interesting that there appears to be a lack of records for this species in the western portion of the state.  This page will be updated as new records are located.

Though C. radicans has escaped from cultivation, it is not aggressively invading natural habitats.  This is surprising, considering its clinging habit, heavy production of winged, wind-dispersed seeds, and the fact that the species often becomes unmanageable in the southern United States, its native habitat (Neiring and Olmstead 1979).

Animated image of occurrences of Campsis radicans over time
(What does this image mean?) 

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