Also called the trumpet vine, the hummingbird vine got its name because its large trumpet-like flowers are very appealing to hummingbirds. Butterflies and bees even love it. Its leaves are elliptic and oblong and dark and shiny, with a dull green underside. The showy flowers range from orange to scarlet with a touch of yellow at the throat. Birds of all kinds love to nest in the dense foliage. The blooming season lasts from May through September and can be extended by deadheading spent blossoms. In the fall, the leaves turn a lovely shade of yellow before they fall off.
Native to the Southeastern U.S., the hummingbird vine has spread throughout the country and even further north, into Ontario. The vine also grows in almost any soil type, including clay soil, and it can tolerate drought. It can even tolerate deer feeding upon it, so it does well in forests and naturally wooded areas. The hummingbird vine uses suckers to spread underground. It also climbs up, latching onto fences, telephone poles, arbors, and trees.
Hummingbird vines are used widely in landscaping for their beautiful flowers and the interested hummingbirds. Live branches should also be trimmed to prevent them from growing out of control. When the flowers aren't in bloom, seed pods appear. As these mature, they crack and release hundreds of seeds. Preventing dozens of vines from growing is accomplished by removing and destroying the pods before they break.