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
1 rating

Tuesday - March 23, 2010

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Crossvine for metal barn in Fredericksburg, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a backyard metal barn, the small storage-type structures that are common. Hail knocked some paint off the metal roof and rather than repaint it, we want to install some plastic webbing from the nursery and train a vine to cover the walls and roof. We'd like a native plant that thrives in full sun (one side of the barn gets southern exposure, the opposite side is in the shade but gets a little late afternoon sun. The roof, of course, gets full sun. We're thinking maybe crossvine is a good choice. Your opinion? Thanks!

ANSWER:

We think Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is an excellent choice for your purposes. It can grow up to 50 ft. long, blooms red, yellow March to May, has low water needs, and will thrive in sun or part shade, so both sides of your barn will be fine. It probably will flower best in the sun, but the plant will still  grow well on the other side. The flowers attracts hummingbirds and butterflies and it is easy to propagate.

A far worse choice would be  Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper), a cousin to crossvine. It is extremely aggressive, especially in the South, and can damage wood, stone and brick. Plus, it is deciduous, so don't let anyone talk you into that as being "just as good."

Follow the plant link Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) to our Native Plant Database page on the plant for care and propagation instructions.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

 

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

Identity of night-glowing object in tree in New Hampshire
August 02, 2013 - I know this sounds crazy but last night when my husband stepped outside he noticed a purplish glow in one of the trees. At first he thought some kind of animal but when throwing a rock at it it did no...
view the full question and answer

Non-destructive vine for stucco in Albuquerque
July 11, 2009 - Is there a vine that can grow on stucco without destroying the stucco when removed?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on hyacinth bean vine
July 01, 2005 - I'm looking for what I believe is a wild vine. All i know is that it has purplish colored beans and the flowers are also purple. Also the vine itself is purplish. i believe that the vine is either fro...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny vine in Michigan
May 21, 2013 - We have a species growing around our rural SW Michigan property that I'm trying to identify: I either see stalks up to 3 ft tall, or much longer vines if they find anchor. The most notable characte...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center