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

Non-invasive, modest-sized shrub for driveway edge
February 24, 2010 - I need a hedge type plant for the end of driveway so cars know how far they can drive in. I would like them to be 3'-5' and the roots not to be too heavy that they raise wood barrier or grow under g...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of Esperanza from Dallas
May 30, 2012 - Have a new 1 foot high Esperanza. It is flowering OK (so far) but it has small rust colored spots about the size of a B-B all over most of the leaves. On the top side of the leaf the spot is depress...
view the full question and answer

How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
April 20, 2011 - Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
view the full question and answer

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

Plants for dry conditions and clay soils in Georgia
June 25, 2007 - I need a bush or plant that I can plant next to a creek that requires no maintenance to cover exposed roots and underbrush caused by rushing water whenever the creeks rises with large downpours. We b...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center