I always look forward to our crossvines (Bignonia capreolata) flowering every spring. Although most of the flowers may be produced high up in deciduous trees, after they bloom, the landscape becomes covered with their shed yellow- and mahogany-colored flowers.
Crossvines are evergreen to semi-evergreen native woody vines that are related to trumpet creepers. These vines are self-clinging, incredibly fast growing, and flower well in both full sun to part shade. These vines do make suckers that grow out into the landscape, so one needs to be ready to pull or cut the rampant growth.
There are a few improved cultivars of crossvines on the market, but the most common is ‘Tangerine Beauty’. It has beautiful orange petals with a bright yellow throat. This cultivar is heavy flowering, even in just partial sunlight.
Cuttings root easily from the current year’s growth taken in May or June. Take stem sections that are 6 to 8 inches long and remove most of the leaves except those at the upper end. Dip the moistened lower end into a rooting hormone containing IBA (such as Miracle-Gro Rooting Hormone), and insert the cutting 2 inches deep into a well-drained potting soil. Cover the pot and cutting with a plastic bag to keep the soil moist until roots have formed. Place the container in the shade outdoors, and fertilize and water during the summer months. Cutting should be ready to plant into the ground in the early fall.
Crossvines are a very attractive nectar source for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. For more information on vines for the home landscape, please see HGIC 1101, Vine Selection for Landscaping.