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Trumpet Creeper

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Lady Bird Johnson wanted to beautify America; especially limiting signs on federally funded highways and screening junkyards. The Highway Beautification Act hasn’t been very effective at getting rid of billboards, but mother Nature does a pretty good job camouflaging junkyards. The native vine Campsis radicans, trumpet creeper, is described as extremely vigorous – if it were non-native, it would be described as rampantly invasive. It doesn’t creep – it leaps and can cover a tall chain link fence and anything else it finds to climb by aerial roots and twining in and out of openings. It takes a strong structure to hold this vine which now is covered with tubular orange flowers which develop into long bean like seed pods. Sending up more shoots each year and with the seeds being distributed freely, it can quickly over run a structure or wooded area.