Bignonia belongs to the Bignoniaceae family and is a genus that includes only one delicate, evergreen, particularly vigorous climbing species, which grows with remarkable rapidity: Bignonia Capredata.
This species is native to North America and more precisely to the central and southern regions of the United States. In Italy it grows outdoors in the hottest regions of central and southern Italy; in the northern ones, however, it is grown in greenhouses, or outdoors in lake areas, where the climate is milder throughout the year.
It is a plant that can reach up to 10 meters in height. The leaves are oblong and toothed and develop two by two in a symmetrical manner with respect to the branch, then ending in a branched tendril, equipped with suction cups that allow the plant to "climb".
Among the most widespread species we mention the Bignonia venusta, which blooms at the end of winter and the Bignonia campsis, which blooms between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn and which is able to withstand even the cold.
With the name "bignonia" many climbing plants that produce trumpet flowers are popularly indicated. Among the most common we can indicate the campsis radicans, the Podranea ricasoliana, the Tecoma capensis and the Pandorea jasminoпdes. Actually all these plants are currently always part of the Bignoniaceae family, but no longer of the bignonia genus. As the study of this vast family progressed, each formed an autonomous genre. In the genre bignonia (only one of the plants in cultivation) bignonia capreolata (also called doxantha capreolata). Originally from the North American continent, it has become increasingly widespread in our gardens thanks to its resistance, abundance and durability of blooms and the interesting cultivars currently available on the market.
The flowers of Campsis radicans are red-orange in color, grouped in pedunculate peaks and provided with a 4-5 cm long, tubular corolla, ending in 5 enlarged lobes.
Planting must be done in spring, placing the plant in large pots filled with fertile soil, rich in organic substance on a base with a strong clay component; care should be taken to position the pots in areas sheltered from currents and cold.
Watering must be abundant during the spring-summer period, moderate during the winter.
The multiplication of Campsis radicans is carried out in spring and is obtained by taking semi-woody cuttings from the side shoots of the plant; the cuttings must be planted in the special multiplication boxes, filled with sand. Once the rooting has taken place (after about 2 months), the seedlings must be transferred to medium-sized pots, filled with compact compost.
The pruning of Campsis radicans plants is to be practiced in spring, taking care to eliminate the dry branches and to shorten the larger branches.
In general the propagation of bignonia is carried out by cutting. Select a branch of the plant of non-woody consistency (semi-mature) leaving a couple of leaves near the apex. It is placed in a vase with a mixture of peat and sand (or, better still, sand and agriperlite). It gets wet and remains covered with a plastic film (because the humidity remains high). It is placed in the shade with temperatures around 20 ° C. The rooting usually takes place in three weeks.
The offshoot is even simpler: take a long branch and direct it towards the ground, burying it for about twenty centimeters (some small incisions will have been made on the bark). In a short time it will emit roots. At that point we will be able to cut upstream and transfer the seedling to a pot to reinforce it.
If you want you can get the same effect by covering a branch with plastic filled with earth.
Characteristics and origins bignonia
Campsis radicans is native to Virginia and southern Illinois, but can also be found as spontaneous in Florida and Louisiana.
It is a glabrous, evergreen liana (where the winters are mild) that can reach 20 meters in height (but remains much more contained in the northern regions). The leaves are rigid and end with a branched tendril that adheres by means of small suckers; they are equipped with oblong petioles, sharp and cordate, of a beautiful glossy green, 5 to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced in numerous racemes composed from 2 to 5. At the moment of flowering they are often so numerous that they completely cover the foliage. The corolla, in the species, is red with orange nuances, from 4 to 5 cm long. The edges are rounded. Some cultivars give off an intoxicating scent that is often combined with that of coffee.
|Family and gender|
Bignoniaceae, gen. bignonia, sp. capreolata
|Type of plant||Perennial, climbing, evergreen in mild climates|
|Ground||Clayey and rich|
|Irrigation||Abundant, but it is very resistant to drought|
|Composting||Autumn with organic soil improver, spring with granular for flowering plants|
|colors||Yellow, orange, red|
|Flowering||From April to July. Generally from the third year of the planting|
|Name of cultivar||Color of flowers and specific characteristics|
|atrosanguinea||With intense purple flowers|
|Dragon Lady||Orange-red flowers and darker foliage than the species, beautiful color contrast|
|Tangerine beauty||Mandarin-colored flowers with a yellow throat, very long flowering, light green foliage|
|Helen F redel '||Orange flowers with a yellow throat, huge corollas|
|Shalimar Red||Red flowers and very long flowering|
|Jekyll||Very resistant to cold, slightly re-flowering|