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
1 rating

Wednesday - November 23, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shade Tolerant, Vines
Title: Evergreen Vine for San Antonio Trellis
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I have a new trellis at the end of my patio on which I want to grow an evergreen vine. The area is fairly shady. I had settled on Carolina Jasmine, but read that it is very toxic which is worrisome since I have toddler grandchildren. I searched your plant list, but am still uncertain as to the best choice for this spot. Your input will be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Yes, the database shows Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) to be of possible concern around toddlers.  How I would choose is to base my search around the recommended species for Central Texas.   When I narrow the search to General Apearance:VINES – there are 11 candidates which are native to Central Texas and will thrive in our climate.

Of these – one, Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is evergreen and looks to be a great choice for arbors.  If you will consider deciduous vines, then almost all of the eleven vines on the list can be considered.  Of those, Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis) and Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) are showy and I’ve seen great examples of them as arbor vines.  If “fairly shady” is determining, then you may consider Parthenocissus heptaphylla (Sevenleaf creeper) as the one listed as shade tolerant. A very similar native, Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) is aggressive and quite common, but carries the same sort of concerns as you have for Carolina Jessamine.

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Scarlet clematis
Clematis texensis

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Transplanting honeysuckle
September 02, 2006 - How do I transplant Honeysuckle?
view the full question and answer

Failure to flourish of Trumpet Creeper in Leesburg VA
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Late last year I planted a trumpet creeper vine to grow on my fence and attract hummingbirds. It gets full sun, is in average soil and gets adequate water. I put a few daylilli...
view the full question and answer

Need care instructions for Cardiosperma halicacabum in Little Rock, AR>
May 11, 2012 - I'd like to find out how to cultivate & care for a balloon vine/heart seed vine/love in a puff vine which I found growing wild in my yard (in Little Rock, Arkansas). There seems to be very little in...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a thorny vine in Florida
June 02, 2009 - Area: panhandle of FL Problem: thorny vine with large potato like roots, rapid growing and very invasive. grows in summer time. thanks
view the full question and answer

Regenerating old cross-vines in Richardson, TX
June 26, 2008 - I have been asked to landscape a memorial garden at church. The garden is small and has a 10x 15-foot brick wall around the back in a c-shape in full sun. Planted on the wall are several very overgro...
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