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
4 ratings

Wednesday - November 17, 2010

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Other
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Vines and shrubs for Las Vegas, Nevada
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

We live in Las Vegas and would like to put some vines up on the walls of our backyard. One wall is full sun, one is partial sun partial shade, and two are all shade. We want something that is non-invasive and will not be harmful to our dog. What can you recommend?

ANSWER:

You are wise to be looking for native plants for your location as they are more likely to survive the climate and require less maintenance. That said, there are a limited number of vines for your location and not all meet your specifications. Note that a shady location gets less that 2 hours of sunlight, part-shade is 2-6 hours, and full sun is more than 6 hours. You may want to put some shrubs into your landscape plans to provide visual diversity and possibly some shade for the pup. Shrubs can be shaped to fit along a wall. We have included shrubs that accept all three light conditions of your site. You may want to do an independent search on our site by going to Combination Search or Recommended Species in the Native Plant Database section of our website. and entering the specifics requested. Locate a source for your choice(s) at our supplier list or this Nativeplant list. Be aware that some suppliers will carry limited native plants along with exotic species that may not survive as well or are too aggressive. Our suggestions follow:

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Climbing snapdragon) graces its location with delicate purple blossoms. It thrives in part-shade.

Funastrum cynanchoides (Fringed twinevine) is a blossoming ornamental also preferring part-shade. View image here.

Vitis arizonica (Canyon grape) is another part-shade vine. You can make jelly from the grapes. View image here.

Parthenocissus vitacea (Hiedra creeper) is a hardy vine that will grow in any light or reasonable soil condition. A prolific climber using tendrils, it will need support on a smooth wall. It produces a berry containing oxalic acid, considered mildly poisonous. That may make it a deal-breaker for your site. View image here.

Rubus leucodermis (Whitebark raspberry) may be another less-than-ideal vine though it too will accept any light condition. Like domestic raspberries, it can spread aggressively, has thorns, and is a biennial. View image here.

Ceanothus velutinus (Snowbrush) is a shrub ranging between 3-5 feet high with showy, aromatic white blooms.

Shepherdia canadensis (Russet buffaloberry) is an adaptable shrub potentially growing to 6-8 feet and producing a non-toxic red berry.

Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry), one of our favorites, produces an edible berry that resembles a large blueberry. The shrub has three size classes between 3-18 feet. Check with a supplier to get the size you might prefer.


Maurandella antirrhiniflora


Maurandella antirrhiniflora


Ceanothus velutinus


Ceanothus velutinus


Shepherdia canadensis


Amelanchier alnifolia


Amelanchier alnifolia
 

More Shrubs Questions

Shrubs and trees to protect beehives in Godley TX
April 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is there a (relatively) fast growing native small tree or large shrub (NOT cedar) that tolerates Johnson County clay, full sun, sometimes damp and sometimes dry soil with no...
view the full question and answer

Native Shrubs to Plant with Viburnum in New Jersey
February 11, 2014 - Please provide me with a list of native shrubs, plants etc. for New Jersey that would work with my existing native viburnum.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen shrubs for Butler PA
August 09, 2013 - Here is what I want in a bush: native to Western Pa.(Southern Butler County), appropriate for a horse pasture,fast growing, not too aggressive (I will mow around it regularly and can prune occasionall...
view the full question and answer

Problems with native palms in Austin
April 10, 2011 - We had a large variety of California fan palms and blue sabal palms in our yard that were damaged during the last freeze. We found that several of them now have "spear pull," which means we could p...
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