Trumpet Creeper (Trumpet Vine)

Bignoniaceae (trumpet creepers)

An aggressive vine with aerial rootlets on stems that become woody with age. Flowers tube-shaped in terminal clusters, 5-lobed, to 3 inches long, orange, red-orange, rarely all red. Blooms May–August. Leaves compound, with 6–10 opposite leaflets (plus one at the tip), ovate-lanceolate, coarsely toothed, with long points. Fruits podlike, woody, splitting open on each side, 2-6 inches long. The structure of the flowers and elongated pods reflect trumpet creeper’s relationship to catalpa, which is in the same family.

Stem length: to 60 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Bottomland forests, open woods, banks of streams and rivers, cliffs, pastures, old fields, fencerows, thickets, waste places, roadsides, railroads, and other disturbed areas. Trumpet vine is well-adapted for disturbed areas, and it is commonly seen growing on telephone poles along roadsides. It is often cultivated for trellises and fences, but it can outcompete nearby vegetation and grow massive enough to collapse insufficiently supported structures.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Human connections: 
Often cultivated as an ornamental vine, but because of its aggressive growth, it is best suited for areas where it will not overwhelm other plants. It requires a strong support. Some people develop a skin rash after touching this plant, so another common name for it is “cow-itch.”
Ecosystem connections: 
The flowers of this plant are favored by hummingbirds, which cross-pollinate the flowers as they forage. The range of trumpet creeper nearly matches that of the ruby-throated hummingbird. The big clumps of these vines provide valuable cover for many birds and small mammals.