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
2 ratings

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

 

 

More Vines Questions

Identification of vine in Stony Brook NY
May 29, 2009 - Identify- vine type, Thorny stem, medium size leaves, color medium green with a jagged-reddish edge, leaf shape oblong, small white flowers. Growing in a patch of English green ivy. Looks invasive. ...
view the full question and answer

Western Poison Oak Sap Transfer
January 26, 2016 - My partner is a park ranger and constantly exposed to poison oak. He gets infected sometimes but mostly seems to tolerate it pretty well. I, on the other hand, keep getting reinfected with it, all ove...
view the full question and answer

Vine for lanai in St. Augustine FL
August 16, 2009 - What vine can I grow to attach to a screened in lanai around my pool? Will it damage my screen?
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with green flowers
May 23, 2012 - Trying to identify a vine with 5-petaled ~1 cm dia green flowers (w/ barely perceptible white & black speckles). I have 3 photos I can send (showing flowers & leaves). The flower petals are almost...
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish male and female grape vines in Gage OK.
August 19, 2012 - Are there male and female plants for wild grapes? If so, how do we tell the difference?
view the full question and answer

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