Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - December 09, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Vines for fence in Bentonville, Arkansas
June 12, 2013 - I have about 600 LF of 8ft high chain link fence I would like to grow vines on in Northwest Arkansas for screening. I would like some to cover quickly but be maintenance friendly. I heard alternating ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of cucumber-like plant with red fruit
July 01, 2012 - Hi; My name is Peter, live in Lewisville. When I walked through a park trail last year, I noticed a very strange vine described as the following: It is vine with leaves and stems (size and shape) lo...
view the full question and answer

How to produce ivy with large, green leaves
May 25, 2007 - How can I keep an Ivy green? When it was purchased it was green and had BIG leaves. How can I get the leaves to grow big again and get it green?
view the full question and answer

Non-floweriing vines not poisonous to dogs from Pittsburgh PA
June 10, 2013 - Are there any vines or crawlers (nothing that flowers) that are non poisonous to dogs? Everything I am finding is poisonous, I want to plant some vines up a chain link fence around a swimming pool.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.