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?


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

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


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?


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 


   "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

Bignonia capreolata

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

Alamo vine
Merremia dissecta

More Vines Questions

Carolina Jasmine failing to turn green in Pleasant Garden NC
April 26, 2011 - We planted Carolina Jasmine last year and it did great. This Spring we only have about 2-3 small green leaves beginning on the vines. We did not cut them back in the Fall. Is it time for them to be tu...
view the full question and answer

Will Hyacinth Beans and Cardinal vine (non-natives) grow in Texas?
April 28, 2007 - I live in Coppell, TX, and a neighbor gave me some Hyacinith Beans and Cardinal Vine seeds to plant. She described these as doing well in her local garden, but I cannot find a photo or picture of them...
view the full question and answer

Native vine to replace non-native Ficus pumila creeping fig
April 01, 2012 - What is a good evergreen alternative to ficus pumila to cover a rough-textured concrete wall in Houston TX?
view the full question and answer

Sources for plants from Abingdon MD
August 02, 2012 - What stores or nursuries in Harford County sell already grown Coral honeysuckle, Purple passion flower, trumpet creeper, and crossvine?
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

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center