Campsis × tagliabuana

Family : Bignoniaceae


Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini

Campsis x tagliabuana comes from the union of Campsis frandiflora of China, who brought beauty as dowry, and Campsis radicans of USA more resistant to cold © G. Mazza

The Campsis × tagliabuana (Vis.) Rehder (1932) is a hybrid (C.grandiflora x C.radicans) between the Campsis grandiflora, native to China, and the Campsis radicans, native to central and eastern USA.

The name of the genus comes from the Greek “kampé” = bent, with reference to the folded stamina; the name of the hybrid, at the beginning described by Roberto de Visiani as Tecoma tagliabuana, is honoured to the brothers Alberto Linneo and Carlo Ausonio Tagliabue, who had furnished him the plant.

Vigourous climber, with even 10 m long stems, tolerates -20 °C. The most known variety is ‘Madame Galen’ introduced in France in 1889 © Giuseppe Mazza

Deciduous, robust climber, with up to about 10 m long woody stems, which clambers and sticks to the walls thanks to its adventitious roots emitted along the stem; it has imparipinnate leaves of a glossy dark green colour on the upper side, pale on the inferior one, 25-40 cm long, with 7-13 ovate leaflets, long up to 7-10 cm and 3-4 cm broad, with indented margins.

The inflorescences, produced in late summer, are terminal, with often hanging cymes, with funnel-shaped flowers, about 8 cm long and 5-7 cm broad, with colour from orange-yellow to salmon-red, depending on the variety, of which ones the most common is the ‘Madame Galen’, introduced in France in 1889.

The fruits are cylindrical capsules containing several flat seeds, with two wings which help their dispersion with the wind. It propagates by wood or root cutting, by ground layering and by the new plants which grow up even far away from the foot of the mother plant.

Imbutiform flowers, merged in rich inflorescences, with roundish sculptural corollas that recall the “Belle Epoque” tastes © Giuseppe Mazza

Hybrid which unites the best characteristics of its parents, the showy blossoming of the C. grandiflora and the rusticity of the C. radicans, cultivable in an ample variety of climates, as it can resist, during the vegetative rest, to temperatures even of -20°C, and of soils, as it can grow up also in poor ones, and often the main problem is to contain its vigorous growth.

It requires full sun for getting an abundant blossoming and room for the development, keeping in mind that if the plant is to climb on railings and on pergolas, then these ones are to be rather robust, as it can reach remarkable weights in short time. It is better to effect pruning, even drastic, in spring, in order to contain its growth and stimulate the blossoming, which always appears on the new vegetation. Newly planted plants are to be regularly watered during the vegetative time, later on, they can bear possible dry periods without damage.

Sinonimi: Tecoma tagliabuana Vis. (1859).

Trumpet Vine ‘Madame Galen’

This is the most common of all trumpet vines, bred by Obtenteur Sahut in the south of France in 1889. This hybrid was likely already ‘born’ in 1850 by the Italian brothers and gardeners Tagliabue in a royal garden in Milan, hence the Latin name below. The flower size (similar to the C. ‘Grandiflora), have earned another name– “Large Trumpet Vine.” Its flowers– salmon red to vermilion (like geraniums) with an orange throat– appear in large numbers. Typically the petals still show some folds from their bud stadium. The flower tufts are also profuse within the foliage and make a spectacular show on any wall, and they last right into autumn! Such striking displays make ‘Madame Galen’ especially suitable for very large-scale projects and areas. Seedpods tend to develop only if other trumpet vines grow in the vicinity. Despite being a self-climber with adhesive roots, it is better to provide the plant with a support system, which allows it to grow up to about 10 metres high. Good frost resistance. Refer to the trumpet vine general information for guidance on location, pruning, suitable cable systems, etc..

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(lat: Campsis x tagliabuana, ‘Madame Galen’, hybrid of Campsis radicans and Campsis grandiflora)

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