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Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Henrico, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native flowering vine for trellis in shade in Henrico, VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in Henrico, Virginia and have a trellis in a shady area. I am looking for a native vine to grow, preferably one that flowers and attracts birds and/or butterflies. What do you advise?


Since you were not very specific about how shady your area is, we are going to search for vines for your purpose that will tolerate both "shade," less than 2 hours of sun a day, and "part shade," 2 to 6 hours of sun daily. Most flowering plants will get better bloom with an increase of sun, so hopefully you would consider that your space had from 2 to 6 hours of sun a day. From our Recommended Species section, we found the following three vines that grow in or near Henrico County, VA in USDA Hardiness Zone 7a. Follow each link to our page on that individual plant to learn more about it.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) - blooms red, yellow March to June. Benefits:

Use Ornamental: Good twining vine with prominent blooms for full sun. Great for arbors.
Use Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Fruits attract quail, Purple Finch, Goldfinch, Hermit Thrush, American Robin.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure, Snowberry Clearwing Moth
Nectar Source: yes

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower) - blooms pink, blue, purple April to September. Benefits:

Use Ornamental: Showy, Blooms ornamental, Ground cover, Arbor, Twines on fences & other plants, Climbs walls & columns
Use Wildlife: Fruit-birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, Crimson-patch longwing, Red-banded hairstreak, Julia butterfly, Mexican butterfly.
Nectar Source: yes

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria -  blooms white, pink, blue, purple, violet  May and June. Benefits:

Use Ornamental: A lovely, aromatic Wisteria native to eastern North American that is less aggressive and less damaging to buildings than the Asian species, but has equally lovely flowers. Can be trained on arbors, walls, and columns.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Marine Blue, Zarucco Duskywing, and skippers
Nectar Source: yes

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Lonicera sempervirens

Passiflora incarnata

Wisteria frutescens




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