City Cast

Trumpet Vines Make Their Home In Houston

Brooke Lewis
Posted on October 17
Reddish-orange trumpet flowers are in bloom.

Spot these trumpet-shaped flowers at Houston Arboretum. (Steven Bates/Getty Images)

Trumpet vines, also known as trumpet creepers, can grow up to a whopping 35 feet long. These vines usually sprout trumpet-shaped reddish-orange flowers. If you want to spot these vines, head to the Houston Arboretum’s trails.

“It is a favorite of hummingbirds, who use their long beaks to access the nectary found deep within the trumpet-shaped flower and drink their fill. Hummingbirds help the plant when they do this, picking up pollen and bringing it from flower to flower as they fly around looking for food. Trumpet vine also has extrafloral nectaries located on the petiole, calyx, corolla, and seedpods; rather than feeding pollinators, these nectaries serve an entirely different purpose, attracting an army of ant bodyguards to the plant to deter herbivores who attempt to take a bite out of it. The ants are protectors of the trumpet vine, and are paid in nectar for their effort,” writes Alyx Scott of Houston Arboretum.

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