Tangerine Beauty Crossvine is easy to grow and can get big in a short time.
The vine is in the Bignonia genus and capreolata family. It is related to Common Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans, also classified as Bignonia radicans) and Cat’s Claw Vine (Bignonia tweediana), which is classified as “aggressive growing.”
Bignonia capreolata is described by Peter L. Warren, Pima County Cooperative Extension urban horticulture agent, as a “…vigorous, fast-growing, woody vine that climbs by branched tendrils with adhesive disks…evergreen foliage…turns reddish-purple in fall with subsequent leaf drop in the colder winter areas of its range.”
Warren’s description of Tangerine Beauty Crossvine is accurate. This vine has become a beautiful addition to our home landscape, climbing and covering our east-facing patio trellis to provide shade. We didn’t expect it would grow so quickly, but admittedly our research prior to planting the vines was minimal. Since transplanting our three vines from 3-gallon pots into our landscape in fall 2019, they’ve grown vigorously and climbed beyond the trellis onto the roof!
Tangerine Beauty is not described as an invasive species in any articles I’ve found. The leaves turn a beautiful reddish-purple color in fall and some drop in winter, but the vines have not died back. Warren noted that Bignonia capreolata stems may die to the ground in severe winters and roots will sprout new growth the following spring.
Its vigorous growth has kept my attention.
Fellow master gardener and teacher Ron Bernier thoughtfully suggested cutting our vines down in late fall-winter to check the vigorous growth. My husband didn’t like that idea and recently tackled the vines by pulling them away from our roof tiles. Gratefully, they came away easily, falling upon growth below on the sloped trellis, and nothing suffered.
According to Warren’s publication, Tangerine Beauty is grown primarily for its attractive tangerine flowers and ability to rapidly cover structures with attractive foliage.
“The vine is easily grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade; it tolerates full shade, but best flower production occurs in sun,” Warren’s review says. “A cross-section of stem reveals a marking resembling the Greek cross, hence the common name.”
One feature worth mentioning is the fire hazard this vine apparently presents. According to North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox, it has an “extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.”
Suzanne Harrington is a Pinal County Master Gardener.