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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 02, 2011

From: St. Paul, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Bee-attracting vine for shade from St. Paul MN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need a vine for shade that attracts bees. I am in Minnesota, zone 4a. Thanks

ANSWER:

We first went to our Native Plant Database and searched on Minnesota and "vine" under General Appearance. This yielded 48 possibilities, which seemed a lot to search individually, so we tried Recommended Species, which gave us exactly 2 vines recommended for Minnesota:

Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet) which had this information (follow the plant link to read our entire webpage)

"Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts, seeds. Low toxicity if eaten. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of conciousness. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Attracts: Birds"

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper),

"Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Berries. Highly Toxic, May be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, dilated pupils, headache, sweating, weak pulse, drowsiness, twitching of face. Toxic Principle: Oxalic acid and possibly others. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.) Also, the plants tissues contain raphides, which can irritate the skin of some people. It is far less likely to irritate, and less irritating than, Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), though, which it somewhat resembles and with which it is often confused.
 Attracts: Birds"

So, that's ought for two. We'll go back and see what we can find out in the other 46 vines from Minnesota. We narrowed the search down this time by indicating the need for shade in our search. This yielded exactly one vine that fit your specification:

Clematis virginiana (Devil's darning needles) - attracts hummingbirds and bees

We went on another tangent, searching the Internet on "bee plants for Minnesota."

Supporting Pollinators: Bee-Friendly Plants - Minnesota

Why Be Wild Bee Friendly? Minnesota Department of Conservation

Bees in Minnesota? What Bees?

None of these websites mentioned vines. If you are more interested in vines than bees, you can probably find a number of vines that would work in your chosen area. If you are more interested in bees than in vines for shade, then all of these articles have good information on regular herbaceous blooming plants that attract bees. They are not necessarily plants native to Minnesota, so they are out of our realm of expertise.

Also, consider reading the book Bringing Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy. See Bibliography below.

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plant for part sun in Nampa Idaho
May 20, 2010 - What could I plant in arid SW Idaho on the northwest side of my house along a border against the house? Most of the day this area is in shade, but at the hottest time of the day it gets a couple of h...
view the full question and answer

Full Shade Plants for Muncy PA
April 10, 2014 - I need a suggestion for almost full shade plants for central Pennsylvania.
view the full question and answer

Hanging flowering plants in part shade in Denton, TX
September 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to hang 4"-6" pots with flowering plants from north-facing eaves. That area gets an hour or so of late-morning/noon sun. Also, my apt. faces a large courtyard so...
view the full question and answer

Sun and shade landscaping in Coppell TX
April 03, 2011 - My two-story home in Coppell Texas faces north. The houses are ten feet apart. The sun leaves the front yard late-0ctober/early-November. It is March 24 and the beds are still in house shade. In s...
view the full question and answer

Flowers under pine trees from Elkhart Indiana
May 02, 2013 - I have a number of pine trees at the back of my lot and would like to plant flowers under the tree. What can I plant?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center