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Tuesday - December 09, 2008

From: Bethesda, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Vines
Title: Climbing plant for Maryland
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi I am looking for a climbing plant which is native to Maryland. I want the plant to climb up the front of the house to assist with cooling in summer and to make the house look more attractive. I would prefer the plant to be hardy, with or without a flower is not a problem and a dark coloured leaf. I would attach a trellis to the house to assist the plant. Can you suggest any plants? Is the honeysuckle (lonicera)a native to Maryland? Thank you


We found four vines native to Maryland that should suit your purposes and, indeed, Lonicera sempervirens is one of them. None of them are fully evergreen, but two of them hold their foliage for a long time.

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) - Semi-evergreen, usually evergreen, blooms red and yellow March to May, fast-growing, best flowering in full sun, but will tolerate part shade to shade. Climbs by tendrils, not suckering, but claws at end of tendrils help it to cling to stone, brick, etc. Best grown on trellis. Branches can be cut back in the Spring to encourage flowering. See this Floridata article Bignonia capreolata for more information.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - Semi-evergreen, blooms red March to June, needs some assistant to help it begin climbing, attracts hummingbirds. North Carolina University article on Coral honeysuckle. 

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) - Deciduous, but attractive leaf colors in the Fall. Blooms white, green May to June. Tendrils end in adhesive-like tips, permitting it to cement itself to walls and therefore need no support. Berries poisonous. University of Connecticut Horticulture Virginia Creeper.

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) - Woody deciduous vine. Blooms pink, blue, purple, violet May to June. Will need heavy-trellis or support, although less aggressive than the Asian species. Floridata American wisteria.

Bignonia capreolata

Lonicera sempervirens

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Wisteria frutescens





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