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Mr. Smarty Plants - Vine for Marin County, CA

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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

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