Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Trumpet Creeper


This otherwise ubiquitous vine has so far only been found along the shell trail near the trail to the swamp tupelo overlook. The lovely trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) is show stopper from now until early fall. Beautiful  vivid orange red tubular flowers are said to vacuum in the humming birds and we note they are pretty darn popular with the ant set as well. This vigorous aggressive vine, although native, can sometimes  be considered invasive. Aerial roots that anchor thick woody stems can carry leaves and flowers over thirty feet into tree canopies or even up walls. Glossy toothed pinnate leaves oppositely arranged easily identify this plant before the flowers make their show. Because hawkmoths of any kind are our favorites in the Back Woods, this plant finds our favor as the larval food of the Plebeian sphinx moth (common or not, we think they are pretty cute!) Keep your eye out for blazes of red in the canopy through out the summer, it will most likely be trumpet creeper.

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