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?


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
2 ratings

Tuesday - March 08, 2011

From: St. Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Vines
Title: A vine to atract hummingbirds in MO
Answered by: Anne Bossart


I am looking for a non invasive vine to plant on a trellis near buildings/brick patio to attract hummingbirds (and other birds and butterflies).


The beauty of selecting a plant that is native to your area is that it is adapted to your conditions so that it will thrive without a lot of coddling and that it evolved in your ecosystem along with the insects and animals so it will most likely have something to offer them and have flowers or fruit when they need it. Some native plants are more vigorous than others but generally none are invasive and displace other plants that have an important role in the ecosystem.

If you visit our Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search selecting Missouri and Vines it will generate a list of 71 vines native to your area.  Many of them will attract birds, hummingbirds and butterflies. Each plant on the list is linked to a plant information page where you will find details such as cultural needs and wildlife benefits.

Hummingbords are really attracted to vines with red trumpet shaped flowers like:

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)

Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper)

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) also attracts bees and butterflies and its fruit is eaten by quail, Purple Finch, Goldfinch, Hermit Thrush and American Robin.

Butterflies are attracted to:

Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)

but as a larval host, which means that their caterpillars will eat the leaves.

And migrating birds are attracted to any vine that produces a fruit like:

Cocculus carolinus (Carolina snailseed)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

So you have plenty to choose from, depending on your light and soil conditions.


From the Image Gallery

Bignonia capreolata

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Evergreen vine for wall in Pasadena CA
May 16, 2010 - Hi, I am looking for an evergreen vine to cover my block wall. I saw star jasmine kept really flowing and wild and loved it but I don't like the way it will look when It blooms. I want a vine that ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on pruning Clematis
August 26, 2005 - I would like to know about pruning clematis. The one I have is getting very large. Should I cut it back, and if so, in the Spring or Fall? I live in Michigan. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
June 05, 2010 - We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
view the full question and answer

Vine with 5 pointed deep lobed leaves and small white flowers
June 21, 2015 - I recently happened upon a very peculiar vine. It has 5 pointed very deep lobed leaves, that are semi hairy on both the top and bottom with small white flowers that emerge from the same part of the st...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Central Texas
July 01, 2013 - Hi. I recently moved into a remodeled home in Taylor, TX, and have experimented with Cabernet Savignon vines before. I have a 1/2 acre and a chain-link fence I want to put vines on. (I have a book o...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center