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

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Wednesday - January 21, 2009

From: Kilgore, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for pergola in Kilgore, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Have recently constructed a 10'X 20' free standing pergola with a 14' X 24' treated wood deck surround. The support posts are inset 14" from the outside edge. I want to grow greenery on the pergola open roof but do not wish to attract bees, wasps or the like. I do wish to have blooms for butterflies & hummingbirds. Do not need plants that will weep or forever drop sap. Wish to have something native. Have considered coral honeysuckle. Please assist me with a selection. Location of deck / pergola is the southwest side of home within city limits in residential neighborhood. Have constructed 4' X 8' wildflower above ground garden.

ANSWER:

Most flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies will also attract bees, wasps and other insects—so Mr. Smarty Plants can't guarantee that any flowering plant won't attract bees and wasps or any other insects.  Flowers need to be pollinated and, therefore, produce delicious nectar to attract insects to them.  As the insect is enjoying its meal it brushes against the anthers of the flower and collects pollen that will then be transferred to another flower to pollinate it.

Mr. Smarty Plants can, however, suggest several attractive vines for your area that may or may not attract unwanted insects:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba (tievine)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)

Passiflora lutea (yellow passionflower)

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)


Bignonia capreolata

Gelsemium sempervirens

Ipomoea cordatotriloba var. cordatotriloba

Lonicera sempervirens

Passiflora incarnata

Passiflora lutea

Wisteria frutescens

 

 

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