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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Thursday - April 20, 2006

From: Thorndale, TX
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Locating yellow crossvine
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I am attempting to find a yellow crossvine. I am not having much luck. I thought I saw some growing in the Taylor area, but I cannot locate it now. In my memory, the flowers had brown dots on them.

ANSWER:

In the wild, crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) flowers are normally either entirely red/orange or they're red/orange on the outside with an entirely or partially yellow interior which sometimes extends out to the ends of the petals, presenting a yellow “face”. The yellow area may be a dark yellow or more of a pure yellow, sometimes with tinges of the red or orange that's on the outside of the flower. This may be what you saw. I could find no picture or description of a crossvine with entirely yellow flowers.

If you've been looking at nurseries, part of the problem may be that most of the breeding that has been done on crossvine has been for flowers that are entirely red or orange. Almost every commercial cultivar I came across when researching your question had an orange or red flower, hence the names 'Tangerine Beauty', 'Dragon Lady', and 'Atrosanguinea'. I kept hoping to come across a yellow or gold cultivar, maybe with a name something like 'Lemon Surprise', but none presented themselves.

If you haven't already done so, consult our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries in your area and contact them to find out if they carry specimens with yellow in them.

To insure that you get the coloring you want, you might also consider taking a cutting of a yellow-flowered crossvine you've seen and rooting it on your own. Locate a yellow-flowering plant in Central, Northeast, or East Texas and get permission to take a cutting (if permission is required in the area). Short, firm side stems of the current season's growth taken in late spring or summer are best. Remove at least a third of the leaves so energy can be devoted to root growth and treat the bottom end with rooting hormone. Place in loamy soil and keep moist and misted. Rooting should occur within two months.
 

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