The Beautiful Cross Vine-A Wonderful Spreader that Blooms Vibrant Blooms

Cross Vine

The scientific name for Cross Vine is Bignonia capreolata, and it is a vine with beautiful flowers. It can be found growing over a vast part of North America. Its area extends in the southeast, from Maryland to Florida and in the west from Missouri to Texas. This plant is mainly found in forests, clearings, lowlands and uplands.


The Cross Vine can reach a length of up to 50 feet and is a woody vine, that can climb very high. This plant has compound leaves opposite to each other having a couple of leaflets. These leaflets are about 3 to 5 inches in length and 2 inches in width, and separated by a slender tendril which is long. These leaves have a glossy surface, which in summer are a dark shade of green and come winter change to a reddish purple. The Cross Vine is known to climb fast and high, and the uppermost part of the plant will only have leaves. It is known to climb without any support as it has a claw-like extension at its tendril's end. With this it can cling on to brick walls and stone. The stem of this plant has a pith which is cross-shaped, and hence the name.

Flowers and Fruits

The flowers of the Cross Vine are very attractive and come in two tone shades of bright yellow and red colors. They are tubular and shaped like a trumpet, about 2 inches in length and about an inch across. They appear two to five in a cluster, and have five petals each. The flowers have long tendrils, joining them to the vine, and they appear usually in the later part of winter and earlier stage of spring. Their main blooming time is in the months of March, April and May. The fruits which form from the flowers have a pod shape and hang like pendants. They are usually about 5 to 9 inches in length and brown in color.


These vines are evergreen, and with their showy flowers are excellent for any garden. People usually like to make a screen with this plant by letting it climb over a trellis. Some people prefer it to climb on to a tree, giving the tree some lively colors with its flower clusters hanging from the tree's branches. This flower is also the favourite of the humming bird, who feeds on its pollen and nectar.


Cross Vine can be propagated by seeds, root cuttings and stem cuttings. The seeds need to be collected as they become a lighter shade of brown and are starting to dry. They should be stored in a refrigerator, in a sealed container, and will keep for a year. The plant can grow in both moist and dry soils, and need only low to medium watering. The soil can be loamy, sandy or clay, but has to be well drained. The plant will tolerate only a limited time of flooding. The plant thrives when it is exposed to full sunlight, and will do reasonably well in partial shade.


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