Plant Profile: Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)

Figure 1. Bignonia capreolata, note the tubular
flowers and two opposite leaves. Photo credit:
Stan Shebs
This post is one of a series from Botany professor Nisse Goldberg's students at Jacksonville University. Student author: Rebecca Clark

Common Name: Crossvine

Scientific Name: Bignonia capreloata L.

Bignonia capreolata or crossvine belongs to the Bignonia family and is found throughout the central to northern parts of the state. It is a woody, semi-evergreen vine, or liana, that can grow to be as long as 50 feet, using tendrils to attach to surfaces. Crossvine is found in forests, swamps, hammocks, fencerows, and limestone escarpments.

Crossvine is a relatively low-maintenance plant. The plant has low to medium water needs and is drought tolerant. It does do well in moist, well-drained, and acidic soil but can tolerate other soil conditions. The best flowering occurs in full sun even though the plant can grow in semi-shady conditions.

The leaves are opposite and four to six inches long with two leaflets per leaf. In summer, they are dark green and reddish purple in the winter.

The beautiful flowers are unscented and tubular in shape. They are normally red on the outside and yellow on the inside (Figure 1). The flowers are usually found in clusters of two to three. They appear in late April to early May. Pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies take advantage of the nectar.

If you would like to grow your own crossvine, please visit this site for vendors:


“Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata).” Duke University. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

“Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata).” Plant Guide. United States Department of Agriculture. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

Guides, Step. “Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) NPIN.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center-The University of Texas at Austin. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.


The crossvine is a beautiful vine that plays an important role in building habitat. Hummingbirds love its orange tubular flowers.
Ra said…
Crossvine is unscented, except for the native variety, which has fragrant flowers.
All the more reason to go native! Thanks for your insight.
Love crossvine! I have this native vine growing on my arbor and it is absolutely covered with blooms in early to mid spring that attract bees and hummingbirds. It's so easy to grow and since it stays green here (in MS) over the winter, the arbor never looks bare. It's very hardy and can be rooted from clippings.
The Jolly Bloggers said…
Good to hear it! We love it too. Thanks for sharing.

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