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

Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
April 17, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native mascagnia macroptera poisonous to animals from Hockley TX
February 17, 2014 - Is Mascagmia macroptra (Butterfly Vine) poisonous to animals (horses and dogs)?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on teddy bear vine
April 13, 2005 - I am looking for a plant called teddy bear vine. The scientific name is Cyanotis kewensis. I had one a long time ago (20+ years) and I loved it, but I can't find another one or find out whe...
view the full question and answer

Edible forest garden for northern Minnesota
March 07, 2014 - I am planning an edible forest garden for northern Minnesota. Can you suggest a list of plants that are native to this area. We are in zone 3a or 3b. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
September 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 4...
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