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June 19th, 2009 - Sound the Trumpets

The Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) or "Trumpet Creeper" is in full bloom on Springbrook's wall trellis, though I haven't noticed any blooming of the ones in our neighborhood quite yet.

Trumpet vine is definitely one of those, "love it or hate it with a passion" plants. Personally, I like them, because I know when the trumpets 'sound,' I'll be looking for hummingbirds on my walk in from the parking lot everyday. They LOVE them. At least the ruby-throated hummingbirds we have here.
Some folks despise the plant because of its tenacious climbing and survival abilities. (Why is it we always despise the organisms that are the best at surviving by their own means...?
Hmm, probably because it usually has to do with stepping on some other species toes, and we humans have this 'universal justice' hangup. And if they were "ugly" or "smelly" or irritating to the skin, THAT would be the death knell, EVERYONE would despise them. Good thing they're trumpets and not bells. ANYway, that sounds like another post coming on...)
That and the fact that they leave a lot of sweet moldy plant parts all piled up when they're done blooming, which attracts the bees, another love/hate relationship for humans...

Then on my last trip out to the creek (that would be Springbrook creek) to "grab" some thistle for the butterfly exhibit, I looked to see if those dynamic Large-Flowered Penstemons were still out there. They weren't. Exactly. The two plants I had noticed last week were either done blooming and not noticeable, or someone took them, which isn't improbable, but further down the trail was another Penstemon plant just coming into bloom that was smaller, shorter, and pinker than the large ones from last week.

I looked through about a zillion Penstemon thumbnails trying to ID it (of about the two zillion varieties - most of which live in the southwestern states), and couldn't definitatively put a species on it. Either it's a hybrid and got there from someones prairie seed mix, or USDA plants hasn't seen it in MN very much, or I am just mistaking it for a different version than what I saw last week, I dunno. Why does everything need a name anyway?
The buds seem happy enough. Maybe even a little smug.

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