A small family of woody plants having two-parted calyces and tubular, five-lobed corollas, the lobes somewhat irregular, the lower one usually being the largest.
Trumpet Creeper (Tecoma Radicans) is an exceedingly beautiful woody vine having a southern disposition, in fact all the members of this family are rather tropical in their habits.
Audubon in his plate of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds shows them about a cluster of flowers of this vine. His choice was well made for it is one of the favorites with these tiny birds. I have spent hours, in Virginia, in watching these beautiful creatures hovering, with whirring wings, at the door of each blossom in turn. In order to reach the nectar at the base of the long tube he has to force himself well into the flower so that it conceals his head and shoulders.
The stem of this species grows from 20 to 40 feet long and is either prostrate or climbing. Sometimes it extends over the ground, climbing over the bushes that may be in its path, and again it may take an upward course and climb the trunks and branches of small trees. As it is a hardy plant it is often seen in cultivation and is used to decorate porches in the North.
The flowers are trumpet-shaped, red within and tawny or orange on the outside of the tube. They grow in terminal clusters of two to nine blossoms, each in a cup-shaped, two-parted calyx. The corolla is about 2½ inches long and flares into five rounded lobes. Four anther-bearing stamens and a pistil are in the upper part of the tube. The leaves grow oppositely on the stem and are each composed of 7 to 11 ovate, toothed leaflets. We find this vine from N. J. to Ia. and southwards.
Trumpet Creeper. Tecoma radicans.