Why crossvine is a great pergola plant
Crossvine is a member of the the botanical family Bignoniaceae, which also includes the more widely known trumpet vine, Campsis radicans. Like trumpet vine, this is a vigorous grower (estimates of its size range up to 50 feet, although my cultivar shouldn't get past 30) and needs a large, sturdy support. Trying to keep it small would be an exercise in frustration, but if you have a large area to cover, it is perfect.
The shape of the flowers will tell you it is beloved of hummingbirds, and I can tell you that bees are pretty fond of it as well. Not surprisingly, the best show is in full sun, but it will take some shade. Mine gets no water other than what mother nature provides. In the northern limits of its range (it is said to be hardy to zones 5 or 6, depending on the source), it will probably lose all its leaves in the winter and may even die back to the ground. In my location on the Florida coast, it sheds some leaves, and the foliage that persists takes on an appealing burgundy cast.
Crossvine has branched tendrils with adhesive disks, so it is self-climbing. It needs tying only to train it. Some say the flowers are fragrant, but I have thousands of them right now and do not detect one, a fact that does not detract from my enjoyment of this plant in the slightest.
Sherry on Jun 18, 2021
Thank you so much for this post. We had a gorgeous trumpet vine for years but it actually spread three houses away (actually up a huge pine there and fortunately neighbors didn't mind). We removed it when it finally pulled down its trellis and have missed it tremendously but didn't know what to replace it with. Don't know that it will thrive here, but we'll try crossvine as it looks so much like the trumpet vine we miss! Thanks, again.