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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.

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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.

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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!

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Wednesday - May 01, 2013

From: kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Need a native vine to grow on a fence next to a horse pasture in Kerrville, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a wooden fence between my yard and the horse pasture. I would like to plant a native Texas vine (grapevine, honeysuckle, etc.) to cover the fence that will be evergreen and showy, but one that my horses will find unpalatable and especially non-toxic if they do eat it. It is full sun. Suggestions?

ANSWER:

For starters, lets go to our Native Plant Database  and do a Combination Search. Select Texas under State, vine under Habit, and perennial under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement and dry under Soil moisture. Click the Submit Combination Search button, and you will get a list of 15 native species of vines. Click on the scientific name of each plant and its NPIN page will appear which contains information about growth characteristics and requirements.

Here are three that might fit your situation, however, Crossvine is the only one that's evergreen.

Crossvine Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) 

Texas HoneysuckleLonicera albiflora (Western white honeysuckle)

 Alamo Vine Merremia dissecta (Alamo vine)

I’m including three databases of toxic plants that we commonly use to check on plants. None of these are listed. This doesn’t guarantee that they are non-toxic, but it increases the probability that they are not toxic.
   Toxic Plants of Texas 

   Cornell

   "Poisonous Plants of North Carolina"

For other suggestions on plant selections, this link to the Kerrville Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas is quite informative, as is their their “Recommended Native Plants for Landscaping in the Texas Hill Country” .

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

Alamo vine
Merremia dissecta

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