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 - March 20, 2013

From: Concord, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: Evergreen vine for screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have pretty much "dead" red-tipped photinia bushes and old pine trees that have seen better days, on a steep hillside. We need to remove and replace with a more natural setting, with some terracing. My main question is- at the top of our hill, separating us from the neighbor, is a chain link fence. I would like to plant some evergreen "screening" vine along that fence line. We live just north of Charlotte, NC. Vine does not need to be flowering, and would prefer not! Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

There are only a few evergreen vines native to your area of North Carolina and the majority of those have showy flowers.  All the vines below should do a good job of covering your fence.

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is evergreen with showy yellow and red flowers.   Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) is evergreen with showy yellow flowers.   Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Gelsemium rankinii (Swamp jessamine) is evergreen with yellow flowers and grows in wet places.  Here are photos and more information from Virginia Tech and Learn to Grow.

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is evergreen with red flowers.  Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Smilax laurifolia (Laurel greenbriar) is semi-evergreen to evergreen, has thorns and inconspicuous flowers.  Here are photos and more information from Virginia Tech and Duke University.

Smilax smallii (Lanceleaf greenbrier) is evergreen with small inconspicuous flowers and a fast growth rate.  Here are photos and more information from Georgia Wildlife Federation and Online Plant Guide.com.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Lanceleaf greenbrier
Smilax smallii

More Vines Questions

Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
June 14, 2009 - I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the backgroun...
view the full question and answer

Do monarchs like Cynachum laeve in Austin, TX?
May 29, 2012 - I have found what I believe is Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve) growing in my yard here in Austin. I tried using the LBJWC plant data base and could not find it. I also found the plant with a diff...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen flowering vine for wall in Tampa FL
May 06, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Tampa Florida and am looking for a non toxic, evergreen, profusely flowering vine to cover a wall. It needs to be cold hardy to approx. 20F. Thanks for your help
view the full question and answer

Plants to trail down wall in South Carolina
February 07, 2008 - Good day, I am putting in a stacked mortarless concrete block retaining wall which will rise to the forest floor along a cut bank - about 4 feet high. Each course steps back about one inch from th...
view the full question and answer

Is Matelea reticulata invasive? Will it take over a crossvine?
June 11, 2014 - I have 50 feet of fencing with a healthy crop of cross vine on it. Pearl milkweed (I believe it is Matelea reticulata) is growing into portions of the cross vine. Is the milkweed too invasive for th...
view the full question and answer

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