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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson


I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.


Wikipedia has a good article on vines and they discuss how vines attach themselves to whatever they climb.  We can use this as a basis of choosing between different possible vines,   Ones that climb by wrapping around protrusions or by twinned petioles [leaf stems] are likely OK while those that send roots into the wall or burrow under ‘bark” are not such a good choice.

We have eleven vines to choose from that are native to Central Texas.  You can review the set by going to the Central Texas recommended species  and narrowing the choices by choosing “vine” as the habit.    You can then look for clues in the plant record.  For instance, Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) climbs by means of aerial rootlets, which, like English Ivy, can damage wood, stone, and brick.   Even though it can be quite attractive, I suspect this should not be on your list.

To me, these three look the gentlest to your wall:
Clematis pitcheri (Purple clematis) – climbs to about 10 ft by twining petioles
Clematis texensis (Scarlet clematis) - similar
Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) – 3-20 feet by twining

If you can tolerate tendrils, then these also become possible choices
Ibervillea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's globeberry) – climbs to 6-10 feet by tendrils
Passiflora tenuiloba (Bird wing passionflower)
Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)  to 25 feet
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) – to 40 feet


From the Image Gallery

Purple clematis
Clematis pitcheri

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Scarlet clematis
Clematis texensis

Balsam gourd
Ibervillea lindheimeri

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Vines Questions

Identification of vine with seed cluster that looks like a 3D star
October 28, 2013 - I found a weird vine on the creek bank with seed clusters that look like a 3D star they also have hair like thorns on them.
view the full question and answer

Native vines for pergola in Denton, Texas
January 28, 2009 - We ve built a pergola under our Post Oaks and Winged Elms. The soil is sandy, as you would expect with post oaks. Are there any native vines, hopefully with a pretty flower, that I might coax into g...
view the full question and answer

Invasive vine with yellow flowers in Austin
June 21, 2015 - What is the invasive vine in Austin that has wire like stems and small leaves. It just blossomed huge yellow flowers this spring. It climbs cliff, trees, bldgs., etc.
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Duplicate request for information from Austin
August 30, 2012 - I am considering planting cross vine on a wrought iron fence. Will it cause any damage to the wrought iron or stucco posts?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center