En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Looking for a supplier for Mustang Grape vine in Austin, TX>
April 02, 2012 - I'm looking for a supplier in Austin that will have a Mustang Grape Vine seed or plant for purchase. I found Natives of Texas in Kerrville, but if you know of a supplier in Austin, that would be pre...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, fragrant flowering plant and vine for Arkansas
June 17, 2009 - I would like to find a non poisonous flowering plant that smells good, that has small to moderate plant growth, that will do well in sandy soil area, shade to full sun either way. Also would like to f...
view the full question and answer

Identification of prickly vine in north Texas
July 07, 2008 - While trimming the shrubs around my suburban house I noticed (and my legs were torn up by!) a vine-like plant with small green serrated leaves and millions of small, very sharp thorns. I search Invasi...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for Lake Jackson, Texas
March 06, 2009 - I have some lattice for privacy that I would like to cover with an evergreen vine or ivy. One is facing to the west, the other to the east. What would you suggest?
view the full question and answer

I need an evergreen vine to hide an ugly fence.
February 24, 2009 - I am looking to find a vine that will be on my south facing fence. I would like it to be evergreen as to hide my ugly fence.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center