Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Privacy Screening Questions

Native vine for privacy on metal mesh fence from Houston
March 20, 2014 - Is there a native vine that does not get top heavy in order to provide privacy from the bottom to the top on an expanded metal mesh fence? It's okay if it dies back, but prefer for it to be evergree...
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle for screening in Euless, TX
March 04, 2009 - We live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We need something to use as a screen along our back fence, to block the view of our neighbor's storage building. We are looking for a tall shrub that we can s...
view the full question and answer

Oak root resistant hedge for Southern California
December 28, 2013 - I live in Southern California and my cypress hedge has oak root fungus. What kind of hedge can I plant that will grow fast and be resistant to the fungus?
view the full question and answer

Screen for highway noise in Conroe, Texas
March 18, 2010 - I have 120' of fence line which backs up to a busy highway, and now there are plans to widen it to four lanes. Is there a native tree or shrub which could help dampen the noise and block out the view...
view the full question and answer

Fast Growing Shrub for Oceanside New York Site
April 17, 2015 - Can you recommend a tall, fast-growing shrub for a sandy location (near an ocean beach in New York) in full sun? Iím looking for a privacy shield.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.