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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 31, 2012

From: 94933, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Vine for Marin County, CA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for relatively fast growing evergreen vine (not Ivy). Plant along sturdy 7 foot wire fence. Mostly sun, some shade. Soil drains reasonably well. I had some success w/ star jasmine, but too slow.

ANSWER:

We wouldn't recommend your planting Trachelospermum jasminoides (Star jasmine) since it is native to China and our mission is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native (North American) wildflowers, plants and landscapes."

Unfortunately, I can't offer you any truly evergreen vines native to California.   Our database lists Lonicera hispidula (Pink honeysuckle) as being semi-evergreen.  Merriam-Webster.com gives two definitions for semievergreen:  1.  having functional and persistent foliage during part of the winter or dry season; and 2.  tending to be evergreen in a mild climate but deciduous in a rigorus climate.  i'm not sure which applies in this case.  Here is what Yerba Buena Nursery in Woodside says about it.  Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry honeysuckle) is another California native vine, but it is deciduous.   Yerba Buena Nursery says that it is fast growing and likes the sun.  Mahonia pinnata (Wavyleaf barberry) is listed by our Native Plant Database as a vine or shrub.   It is evergreen.   Here are photos and more information.

You might consider using a plant that forms a narrow hedge up against your fence instead of a vine.  Here is a list of native plants that can be used as a vine from Las Pilitas Nursery.  Here are a couple of recommenations from that list:

Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany) [synonyms: Cercocarpus alnifolius and Cercocarpus betuloides].  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Yerba Buena Nursery.

Garrya elliptica (Wavyleaf silktassel).  Here is more information from Las Piliatas Nursery.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pink honeysuckle
Lonicera hispidula

Twinberry honeysuckle
Lonicera involucrata

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

More Vines Questions

Deer Resistant Vine for California
July 24, 2013 - What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regu...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of a small itchy vine in Granbury, Texas
December 24, 2010 - I am clearing an area near some trees that has never been "domesticated". There is a little itchy vine that grows pretty extensively (not very much top growth, but is all over the place). The smal...
view the full question and answer

American Bittersweet in east Texas
September 24, 2007 - Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Central Texas
July 01, 2013 - Hi. I recently moved into a remodeled home in Taylor, TX, and have experimented with Cabernet Savignon vines before. I have a 1/2 acre and a chain-link fence I want to put vines on. (I have a book o...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing vines for the Texas Hill Country
January 17, 2015 - What are the best fast-growing vines for our Hill Country location? The vine will be growing on a stucco wall, so we don't want the vine to grow into the stucco and destroy it. Location has morning ...
view the full question and answer

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