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?

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
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

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

Vine for pergola in Belton TX
February 06, 2013 - Hello, I would like to know what vine would be best to cover a rather large pergola. It will be in full sun in caliche soil. :( The area has access to a water hose and I would like to have something...
view the full question and answer

Vine for complete shade in California
December 21, 2012 - I'm looking for a vine to put over my back door which is in complete shade.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification request for a vine
September 19, 2007 - I would like to identify a wild vine that I have just discovered in our bush. It has leaves similar in shape to a maple leaf,approx.4"wide, has white flower spikes, and some kind of a fruit or pod t...
view the full question and answer

Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
December 03, 2010 - My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
view the full question and answer

What is wrong with my cross vine (Bignonia capreolata?
March 08, 2009 - I have a crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has grown and bloomed beautifully for about 7 years. Then last year the bloom was significantly less and the bottom growth almost nonexistant. The leaves ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center