Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Horticultural Jewel

One of the botanical jewels on our properties is a magnificent trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), an ostentatious plant native to the eastern United States. These plants can grow aggressively, potentially causing damage to host trees or structures on which they grow. Our specimen is particularly beautiful:

The bright flowers are about three inches long, perfectly suited for pollination by hummingbirds- in our neck of the woods, typically the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris):

There were hummingbirds visiting our trumpet vine, but they stuck to the upper reaches of the plant, making decent photography with a phone camera a pipe dream. I did manage to photograph an ant on one of the flowers, though- these plants recruit ants to defend themselves with nectar-filled structures.

This showy plant is one of the horticultural jewels on our property... even better, it's a jewel that attracts other jewels, the gorgeous little birds that feed on and pollinate the flowers.


Anonymous said...

I have this in my backyard and I love it. Hummingbirds nest in it and yesterday I had one fly to about a foot away from my face and then stay there tilting it's head side to side looking at me. I suppose it was to see what kind of threat I was and it gave me an amazing view of this beautiful bird. I think it dismissed me as unworthy of a dive bombing, something my dog gets frequently. The vine also attracts bees and wasps and while I prefer watching them at a greater distance than a foot I love the intricate dance they do around each other and into the flowers. Sometimes pleasure comes from unrecognized sources. Thanks for reminding me. Bonnie (since I'm signing in as anonymous)

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That’s lovely, Bonnie. These plants bring so many lovely animals to the area.