En EspaÑol

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 12, 2010

From: San Jose, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Non-invasive, native vines for flood wall in San Jose CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was hoping you could help me with some information on vine selection. I am interested in selecting three vines for a flood wall application. Non-native species are acceptable, so long as they’re not invasive. Invasiveness is a major issue and the concern with the vines reseeding up or down stream is major. The vines will be very confined and will not be planted next to any other vegetation. Ideally one self adhering, deciduous vine to be used for most of the wall and two other ornamental evergreen vines for interest. The ornamentals will have a structure to climb on. All three should be vigorous and work to cover the wall quickly. Not in shady conditions or in moist soils. Thanks for your time and help on this issue.

ANSWER:

You may find non-native vines acceptable, but we do not. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Every plant is concentrated on one thing, which is reproducing itself. Therefore, every plant, except for those that are non-vascular, is going to be attempting to flower and thus produce seed and thus produce more of itself. We would consider this an even worse problem if you were considering non-native invasives, but you will still have difficulty containing the seeds. Depending on the size of the planting, dead-heading the blooms before they can go to seed is probably your best hope.  Of course, this usually results in heavier blooming as the plant continues to try to reproduce.

We will search in our Native Plant Database for vines native to the Central Coastal area of California, and see what is available that we could hope would not become invasive. There are two species of clematis native to your area, Clematis lasiantha (pipestem clematis) and Clematis ligusticifolia (western white clematis). Another native is Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle).

Beyond this, we want to refer you to a wonderful resource in Southern California, Las Pilitas Nursery.  They specialize in plants native to California, and have many we do not yet have in our Native Plant Database, with information on care, light exposure and invasiveness on each plant. 

From Our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Clematis lasiantha

Clematis ligusticifolia

Lonicera hispidula

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in New York
May 15, 2012 - I have a flowering vine that grows against my home and I'm not sure what it is, but it's beautiful with a delicate scent. The flowers look like clusters of mini purple pea pods hanging downward befo...
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

Thorny vine growing through hedge
May 16, 2009 - In my hedge, a vine grows that has a bulbous root. It has large thorns up and down the vine. The leaves are shiny and grow all along the vine that is exposed to the sun. the vine grows up thru hedg...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Asiatic Jasmine from Austin
October 25, 2012 - Is Trachelospermum asiaticum considered a native texas plant? Is there an example growing at the Center that can be viewed?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center