Campsis radicans

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Campsis radicans L.


Life form: climber
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   6

Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam - Soil: sandy clay - Soil: loamy clay - Soil: peat

Arrangement: opposite
Leaves: decidious

Shape: ovate

Division: imparipinnate


Shape: trumpet-shaped
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

30C / ff5119 

Inflorescence: panicle

Petals: single
Habit: erect

Growth form: not specified



Campsis radicans is a climber.


Campsis radicans was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Berthold Carl Seemann, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1867.


Campsis radicans is a species in the genus Campsis which contains approximately 2 to 3 species and belongs to the family of the Bignoniaceae (Trumpet-creeper Family).


Campsis radicans - flowers


The climbers are comparatively fast-growing and short-lived. They produce a single stem and reach heights of 5 to 10 metres. The main growing season is in spring and summer. The plants reach a width of 7 to 10 metres.


Campsis radicans is deciduous. The green, imparipinnate leaves are opposite. The leaflets are ovate and petiolate. They have dentate margins and pinnate venation. The surface of the leaves is glabrous. The foliage is porous and turns an attractive yellow in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Campsis radicans produces showy panicles of erect, dark-orange trumpet-shaped flowers from April to July. The plants flower on last years shoots. They are hermaphroditic, pollination takes places by allogamy through animals.

From summer to autumn the climbers produce an abundance of ornamental brown loculicidal capsules that are persistent on the plant.

Root System

The plants form shallow roots.


Campsis radicans is native to the Southeast of the US.


The climbers prefer a sunny situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy, gritty-loamy, sandy clay, loamy clay or peaty and comparatively poor with a pH between 4,9 and 6,8. The plants need a soil depth of at least 36 centimetres for good growth. They tolerate temperatures down to -23°C (USDA zone 6) and need a frost-free period of at least 24 weeks.

In summer the plants prefer protection from strong winds. In winter the plants prefer frost-free conditions.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: soil salinity, anaerobic soil, waterlogging
  • low: calcareous soil
  • high: drought


The ornamental value of Campsis radicans lies especially in the attractive autumn aspect and its fragrance. The recommended planting distance is 1,5 to 1,8 metres. Suited as container plant, bee pasture and as indoor plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants can be considered rather high-maintenance.

  • For healthy growth apply a compound fertilizer weekly during growth.

Propagate by sowing. The seeds require vernalization. Also by cuttings.


Pests and Diseases

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

Fine webs on the plants indicate an infestation with red spider mites. These sap-sucking insects mainly appear under glass and can be controlled either with insecticide or biologically with parasitic mites.

Honeydew and sooty mould indicate an infestation with whiteflies. The larvae look like those of mealy bugs, the adults suck sap on the undersides of the leaves. Apply insecticide, under glass control biologically.


  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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