12 Fascinating Facts About Trumpet Vine

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The trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a fast-growing perennial climbing vine native to eastern and southern North America. With its showy red-orange trumpet-shaped flowers and attractive foliage, trumpet vine is a popular ornamental plant for gardens. However, trumpet vine can also become aggressively invasive in some regions.

Below are 12 fascinating facts about this eye-catching vine:

Trumpet vine like flowers
Trumpet vine like flowers

1. Its flowers resemble musical trumpets

The trumpet vine gets its common name from its flowers, which resemble long, tubular trumpets. The flowers can grow over 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length and flare open at the ends. When clustered together along the vines, they look almost like little trumpets in a marching band.

2. Hummingbirds love trumpet vines

Hummingbirds are highly attracted to trumpet vines. They like to drink the nectar from the long, tubular flowers using their specialized long beaks and tongues. Trumpet vines are such a valuable food source for hummingbirds that some gardeners grow them specifically to attract these tiny, colorful birds.

3. Trumpet vines can grow incredibly fast

Under ideal conditions, the trumpet vine is capable of exceptionally fast growth. It can grow up to 12 feet (3.6 m) or more in a single year. Such rapid growth enables trumpet vines to quickly cover fences, arbors, trees, and more. This fast growth is one reason trumpet vine can become invasive.

4. Trumpet vines can live over 50 years

In addition to its fast growth, the trumpet vine is a long-lived plant. Individual vines can continue living and flowering for over 50 years. They continue increasing in size each year, producing ever more abundant flowers.

5. Trumpet vine can be invasive

While beautiful, trumpet vine sometimes escapes cultivation and grows where it is not wanted. Through its rapid growth from root suckers and self-seeding, trumpet vine can blanket and envelope other plants and manmade structures. For this reason, trumpet vine is considered an invasive plant in several regions. Care should be taken with placement and management to prevent unwanted spread.

6. Some trumpet vines have variegated leaves

There are cultivated varieties of trumpet vine that have attractive variegated leaves. Instead of plain green, the leaves are edged, streaked, or blotched with white or yellow. These varieties, like ‘Madame Galen’ and ‘Flava’, provide visual interest even when not in flower.

7. The roots can damage structures

In addition to its spreading vines, trumpet vine has vigorous root systems that can also cause issues in cultivated settings. The strong, suckering roots can damage structures like sidewalks, pipes, and building foundations if planted too close.

8. Trumpet vines thrive in full sun

Trumpet vines grow best in full sun. They need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. More sun exposure results in faster growth and more prolific flowering. Trumpet vines grown in too much shade tend to become leggy and flower poorly.

9. They can grow well in poor soil

While preferring moist, fertile soil, trumpet vines are quite adaptable and tough. They can grow just fine in poor, sandy soil and tolerate drought, heat, and humidity. These qualities help trumpet vines flourish across varied environments.

10. Some species have edible roots

A Asian relative called the cowheel vine (Ipomoea pandurata) has large, edible tuberous roots that are cooked and eaten like sweet potatoes in some regions. However, the common trumpet vine’s roots are not considered edible.

11. Trumpet vines have medicinal uses

Various parts of trumpet vines are used in traditional herbal medicine to treat infections, pain, and inflammation. However, clinical research on the safety and efficacy of trumpet vines for medicinal use is limited.

‘Scarlet Trumpet’ is a popular trumpet vine cultivar that has dark red flowers instead of the typical orange. It is a hybrid between trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) and Chinese trumpet vine (Campsis grandiflora). The hybrid has larger blooms and glossier leaves than the common species.

In summary, the trumpet vine is an attractive plant with some fascinating qualities ??? from its musical-looking flowers to extraordinarily fast growth. While it can cause issues with invasiveness, trumpet vines remain a unique addition to gardens across many regions. With some management, their beauty and wildlife benefits can be enjoyed without letting them get out of control.


The trumpet vine is a versatile climbing plant that offers colorful floral displays attractive to hummingbirds, rapid growth, and adaptability to various conditions. However, care should be taken with placement and management to prevent unwanted invasive spread beyond garden borders. With its showy blossoms and vigorous nature, the trumpet vine is sure to remain a popular ornamental plant for years to come.

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