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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two Trumpets, Different Tunes and an Itchy Cow?


Here's where I confess that I very nearly combined the blossoms from one plant with the seeds of another to present them as the same plant in different seasons. Thankfully I did notice that the leaves in the two pictures were not the same, and went hunting for answers. It also took me a long time to set up this post because I'm trying to host my own photos yet still earn a penny or two, and not be plastered with near-naked women and slimy, get-rich-quick schemes. (I know... good luck on that one!)

I think I'm ready...

trumpet honeysuckle

I knew that I had this picture, taken some years ago in Ohio. It has trumpet shaped flowers, right?

trumpet vine seeds

And you saw this seed pod the other day in the little game "Guess the Whole." When I saw that plant (and I'll show you more of it in a minute), I didn't have a clue what it was. I asked a botany-loving friend when I came home, and she quickly answered "Trumpet Vine." I was home free! Here I had these great pods from Ohio... O wait... let me show you the whole pods...

trumpet vine seeds

... and I had the trumpet flowers. Views of the same plant in different seasons. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Look at the leaves in the first picture. Now look at the leaves of the plant with the great pods, shown below.

trumpet vine seeds

Wow... made me get hot all over at how close I came to jumping to a bad conclusion. Those leaves are not alike AT ALL. The flowers are from Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens. This is a twining shrubby vine whose flowers really attract hummingbirds.

The leaves and pods that I just saw have a trumpet shaped flower too, about the same color. But it is larger, and the flowers don't hang down the same way. This plant is Campsis radicans, Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper, or Cow-Itch Vine. It is also a shrubby, woody vine that attracts hummingbirds, but it is much more invasive and will take over and "devour" any woody material that gets in its way. It needs severe pruning and maintenance. The honeysuckle would be a better choice for gardens.

Now I'll be hunting for those Trumpet Vine flowers next year, and the Trumpet Honeysuckle seeds! If I get to itching it will more likely be from Poison Ivy, not Cows.

See Early Yellow Minnesota Flowers for another honeysuckle
See A Catalpa for Dad for a relative of the Trumpet Vine (also family Bignoniaceae)

6 comments:

Ratty said...

I understand the feeling when you make a mistake about something you take pride in knowing. I've done it many times. Still, not many people would have known the difference here. It's still a relief when you catch it early. I'm glad you were able to have that relief.

Glennis said...

Lovely red Honeysuckle flowers do look rather trumpet like. That seed pod is so huge!

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- The leaves are SO very different, I would have had a bad time covering that error!

Glennis- Welcome! Yes, those honeysuckle blossoms are much larger than most. Spectacular, really.

Julia said...

That is frustrating!!!

The first picture was screaming honey suckle at me. Our wild varieties look like that. But the pods I have never seen before and I don't know it still. I'll have to look that one up. It's non native right?

Julia said...

OK that trumpet vine is the one they plant on carports and other structures to cover them. No wonder it's invasive!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Julia- Yes, those honeysuckle leaves are distinctive. The trumpet vine is supposedly native to the SE US, and supposedly grows as far north as Canada, but I don't ever see either of these plants around here.

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