Campsis radicans (L.) Seem. - Trumper Creeper

Campsis radicans plant

Family - Bignoniaceae

Stems - Woody, climbing or clambering, multiple from base, forming aerial rootlets. New seasons growth glabrous, green.

Campsis radicans stemNew season's growth.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, odd-pinnate, with +/-11 leaflets. Petiole and rachis glabrous or with a few cilia near the base of the leaflets, with a narrow adaxial groove, green. Leaflets opposite, ovate, acuminate, coarsely and irregularly serrate, glabrous above, sparsely pubescent on veins below, acute to acuminate, to +6cm long, +4cm broad. Leaf tissue abruptly contracted and deccurent on petiolule.

Campsis radicans leaf

Campsis radicans leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal corymbs of +/-10 flowers. Pedicels to 1.7cm long, subtended by small linear bracts. Pedicel also often with two small scalelike bracts near middle.

Flowers - Corolla red-orange, orange, or yellow, to +/-7cm long, 2cm in diameter, funnelform, 5-lobed at apex, zygomorphic, glabrous. Lobes suborbicular, to 2.5cm broad, 1.5cm long. Stamens 5 (4 + 1), didynamous, included, adnate at contracted portion of corolla tube. Filaments to +3cm long, glabrous, pale yellow. Anthers tan, 5-6mm long. Small stamen with filament to 1.8cm long. Style 1, 4.8cm long, glabrous, yellow-green. Stigma flattened, spatulate, to 3mm broad. Ovary superior, 8mm long, subterete to weakly 6-angled. Placentation axile. Ovules many, glabrous. Calyx tube to +2cm long, reddish, 5-lobed. Lobes 8mm long, acute, 5-6mm broad at base, glabrous internally and externally. Capsules 2-valved, to +15cm long, beaked, woody. Seeds winged.

Campsis radicans flower

Campsis radicans calyxCalyx close-up.

Campsis radicans calyxFruit.

Campsis radicans calyxSeeds.

Flowering - May - August.

Habitat - Open woods, thickets, fence rows, waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads. Also cultivated.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This striking species is common throughout Missouri but is actually native to only the Ozark section of the state. This is an easily identified vine because of its opposite, pinnate leaves and big, orange flowers. It can frequently be seen growing along fence rows and in waste places.
C. radicans can be aggressive if unchecked and some people are mildly allergic to the plant.

Photographs taken off Hwy W, Ripley County, MO., 6-5-04.


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