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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 06, 2010

From: Tampa, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Evergreen flowering vine for wall in Tampa FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Tampa Florida and am looking for a non toxic, evergreen, profusely flowering vine to cover a wall. It needs to be cold hardy to approx. 20F. Thanks for your help

ANSWER:

The "evergreen" qualifier that so many gardeners put on their requests for plant suggestions makes it pretty difficult sometimes. Since Hillsborough County in Florida is in USDA Hardiness Zone 11, some vines that might be deciduous farther north are listed as evergreen in our Native Plant Database. We found three that fit your specifications, although one has a toxic warning. Follow each link to our page on that plant to learn bloom color, growing conditions, size, etc. Our favorite for this use would be the Crossvine. We have it climbing some of the limestone pillars and walls at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and the hummingbirds and butterflies love it. If you have children, pets or livestock that will eat flowers or leaves, don't consider the Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower).

Flowering evergreen  vines for Tampa Fl:

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower) -From our Native Plant Database: "Warning: The flowers, leaves, and roots are poisonous and may be lethal to livestock."

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Gelsemium sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens

 

 

 

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