En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - February 07, 2008

From: Seneca, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Plants to trail down wall in South Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Good day, I am putting in a stacked mortarless concrete block retaining wall which will rise to the forest floor along a cut bank - about 4 feet high. Each course steps back about one inch from the face of the one below. What native or relatively native plants can I plant in the top block cavities which will cover the top and / or cascade down the side of the wall? At this point I do not wish to cover the entire wall face. The area is adjacent to a "natural area" (wetland) along a small brook "estuary" into a reservoir. The face of the wall looks northwest. It gets late afternoon sun. Otherwise, partially shaded, by beech and oak, among others. The base of the wall is at least 6 feet above and 20 feet from the reservoir at full pond - 40 feet from the brook at low water, as now. I can set the grade to extend the forest floor up to the level of the block top such that surface run-off will reach the wall [notwithstanding the gravel drain field on the back side of the wall (standard construction practice)] and run down the wall face. There will be no irrigation and no watering after establishment. Thank you.

ANSWER:

It sounds like the best bet for your wall is some sort of vine. Most vines will trail as well as climb and you could plant these in the top of the wall to trail down it. I suppose another possibility is to plant them at the base of the wall to climb up. The following are all native plants that grow in South Carolina.

These first three are evergreen.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

The following are not evergreen.

Clematis crispa (swamp leather flower)

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba (tievine)

Clitoria mariana (Atlantic pigeonwings)

Decumaria barbara (woodvamp)

Cocculus carolinus (Carolina coralbead)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

You can also see on our web site a list of other South Carolina Recommended native plants that are commercially available and suitable for landscapes.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Scarlet beeblossom
Gaura coccinea

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Tievine
Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba

Atlantic pigeonwings
Clitoria mariana

Decumaria
Decumaria barbara

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

More Vines Questions

Propagation of wild grape vines
July 14, 2004 - How can I propagate wild grape vines where I want them to grow?
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants unlikely to provide good shade for rattlesnakes in TX
August 28, 2011 - I would like to plant native grass around my new home in the country near Mason, TX. My concerns are the rattlesnakes that are common here, and if they could "hide" in the native grasses since they ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with green flowers
November 03, 2012 - What is this trailing plant with half inch green flowers with gold metallic centers? Looks like a milkweed plant or gourd plant of some kind. I found it off Hamilton Pool road. West of Austin TX
view the full question and answer

Low Ground Cover for Steep, Shaded PA Site
February 17, 2014 - I am located in Downingtown, PA, right on the border between Zone 6 and 7. Please provide a recommendation of a native ground cover for the following conditions: steep slope (greater than 45%), full s...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing, non-poisonous evergreen vine for California
March 14, 2013 - Hi, I am in the north bay area of California, north of San Francisco, need a quick growing vine to cover a very long section of chain link fence that is not poisonous (back yard backs up to school pla...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center