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

Tuesday - November 26, 2013

From: Temple City, CA
Region: California
Topic: Vines
Title: Flowering vine for summer sun in Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi and thanks for this great site. 1)Southern CA -- South facing wall(lattice on top)total height 7ft with mature Boston Ivy-- Viburnum tinus and Euonymus at base. THE PROBLEM: East 25% (25ft) has become bare, miniscule foliage--blasted by summer sun all day. Has done well for 5 years, but last 2 summers were too much. Need something that can tolerate the heated wall. Flowering vine would be nice, to also plant on the west end for uniformity. Must coexist with Boston ivy. NOTE: other 75% of wall is partial sun to partial shade from large tree. Thanks very much!!!

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery, with locations in Escondido and Santa Margarita, who specialize in California native plants, has a page of "Native plants that can be used as a vine" that has a lot of information about growing conditions for various vines.  You will notice that most of the vines on the list require some shade to do well.  There is one, Vitis girdiana (Desert wild grape) that Las Pilitas recognizes as 'heat tolerant'.  Its flowers aren't showy but they are fragrant and result in delicious small grapes for you and the birds in your neighborhood to eat.  Vitis californica (California grape) would also be a choice.  It is happy with full sun and heat—see the Sonoma County Master Gardeners'  page.

Instead of a vine, you might consider a narrow shrub to grow in front of the wall.  Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany) is one alternative.   The variety that grows in Los Angeles County is Cercocarpus montanus var. blancheae (listed under its synonym, Cercocarpus alnifolius by Las Pilitas).  It tolerates both heat and cold.

Frangula californica (California buckthorn or California coffeeberry) is another alternative.  Las Pilitas lists it under its synonym, Rhamnus californica.

 

From the Image Gallery


Desert wild grape
Vitis girdiana

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

More Vines Questions

Germination of Purple Clematis from Junction TX
October 31, 2013 - I have some Purple Leather Vine seeds I want to share and want help learning to germinate. Can anyone there help me find interested recipients?
view the full question and answer

Culture of a potato vine
November 11, 2007 - This spring I was given a potato to grow. The lady called it a potato vine. Do you know anything about this vine?
view the full question and answer

Unusual vine in San Diego County, California
May 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, I came across an unusual vine winding through a young Zumaque growing off the edge of a mesa in San Diego (coastal sage scrub). The small (fingernail-sized)leaves rough...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
January 15, 2013 - I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the ...
view the full question and answer

American Bittersweet in east Texas
September 24, 2007 - Does American Bittersweet vine grow in east Texas? It grows wild in Indiana and want to find it in our new location, Longview, Texas
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