About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trumpet Vine: Hummingbird flower

Witches Fingers, that’s what we used to call the Trumpet Vine or Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) as kids. We would pluck the flowers and put them on the tips of our fingers and run around, point at people and give a creepy laugh.

Of course today I like the flowers because they attract hummingbirds and the dense foliage is used by many types of birds as shelter. The vine is native to woodlands and riverbanks of the southeastern United States, but is a popular garden perennial plant across much of the US and southern Canada.

It takes 3-4 years for it to mature to the point of producing blooms, and I’ve found the more I “beat up” or trim back the plant harshly the more it blooms.

Many people grow Trumpet Vines in their gardens for its beautiful flowers or to attract birds but some downsides to the plant are its aggressive nature. It can crowd other plants, climb or grow into walls and fences and can cause a rash on some people.

The range of trumpet creeper across the United States matches nearly that of the ruby-throated hummingbirds’. And its bloom time, June to September also coincides with the hummingbirds’ migration south.

Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campsis_radicans
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Anonymous said...

I have one of these growing by my front door and always wondered what it was. Mine attracts Baltimore Orioles and I live in the middle of a city. Never knew a thing about it - thanks for the info! Susan G., Rochester, NY

Maggie Richardson said...

This has come creeping over the fence from the neighbour's yard and bloomed for the first time this year! I will keep an eye on its invasiveness, but until then I find it beautiful!