Bignonia capreolata for hummingbirds
Wonder when to put your hummingbird feeders back out in the spring? Clemson’s Paul Thompson uses a visual reminder from nature. Among the many vines he grows, the native crossvine, Bignonia capreolata, has a narrow funnel-shaped flower which Paul says is perfectly designed for hummingbirds to visit for nectar simultaneously getting pollen on their head and effectively transferring that to the next flower. Capreolata means tendrils but you don’t need structures for this vine --- it climbs trees and can cover them and certain wooden structures easily with vines reaching fifty feet – in a naturalized area it can be dramatic in bloom. For a home garden, you may want a medium-sized trellis as it tends to flower at the ends of vines -- at the top of a tree you’d miss all the excitement. There’re lots of cultivars now with brighter colors.