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Wednesday - March 25, 2015

From: Great Falls, VA
Region: Select Region
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: Vine for Chain Link Fence in Virginia
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I am from Great Falls, Virginia. I would like to know what the best vine is to grow on aluminum fences to cover them up quickly but also doesn't damage expensive fences in a long term?

ANSWER:

The list of vines is extensive that is produced by the Native Plant Database for Virginia, but several do have vigorous tendencies and could damage your fence over time (such as Campsis radicans, Celastrus scandens and Wisteria frutescens). So the less vigorous ones are listed below.

Ampelopsis arborea (peppervine)

A deciduous to semi-evergreen vine that can be ground cover-like, but is often high-climbing and bushy. Grows 35 ft. or more. Foliage is bi- or tri-pinnately compound and dark-green, turning pale-yellow in fall. Leaves up to 6 inches or more long and equally wide, with a central axis and 1 to 3 pairs of lateral axes supporting leaflets. Leaflets roughly ovate, coarsely toothed, dark green on the upper surface, lighter on the lower. Flat-topped clusters of tiny, green flowers are followed by clusters of pea-sized, bluish-purple berries. Fruit fleshy, up to 5/8 inch in diameter, black and shiny when ripe, inedible. Fast-growing and short-lived. The species is particularly aggressive and rampant, considered by many to be a pest. It is seldom cultivated.

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

A climbing, woody vine reaching 50 ft. long with showy, orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches across which hang in clusters of two to five. They are sometimes seen high in a tree, as the vine climbs by means of tendrils. Claws at the end of its tendrils allow crossvine to cling to stone, bricks and fences without support. Leaves are opposite, 4–6 inches long by 2 inches wide, with a third leaflet modified into a tendril. Persistent, glossy, semi-evergreen leaves change from dark green in summer to reddish-purple in winter.

Clematis crispa (swamp leatherflower)

A climbing or weakly ascending herbaceous vine which can reach 10 ft. with support. Leaves are opposite, consisting of 2 pairs of leaflets. he pinnately compound, deciduous leaves have 3-5 linear to ovate leaflets. The mildly fragrant, pinkish purple flowers grow on a naked stem and hang upside down. They have no petals, but the petal-like sepals are joined in a way that gives them the shape of an urn. They separate into 4 petal-like lobes at the rim, where they are wavy and crimped, curling backward and to the side. Normally climbs or trails 6 to 10 feet. Will lose its leaves in mild winters, die to the ground in harsh winters, then come back in the spring.

Clematis virginiana (Devil’s darning needles)

A 12-15 ft., fine-texured vine, climbing by twisting leaf stalks. Profuse, axillary clusters of small, white flowers are followed by plume-like, feathery achenes. Trifoliate leaves are bright-green. A climbing vine with white flowers in many clusters arising from the leaf axils. A beautiful and common Clematis, it trails over fences and other shrubs along moist roadsides and riverbanks. The female flowers, with their feathery tails or plumes, give a hoary appearance and are especially showy in late summer. Lacking tendrils, the vine supports itself by means of twisted stems, or petioles, that wrap around other plants.

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina Jessamine)

Native from Virginia and Florida west to Arkansas and east Texas and south to Guatemala, Carolina Jessamine is a twining, evergreen vine, 10-20 ft. long, that will climb trees, scramble over fences and structures, or develop a mound of tangled stems if left to its own devices. Lustrous, dark-green foliage develops a slight yellow or purple cast in winter. Axillary clusters of very fragrant, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. The fruit is a 1 1/2 in. long capsule.

This high-climbing vine is very common in parts of the South, frequently found in abandoned fields and climbing high into the canopies of pine forests. It is quite adaptable and tenacious, with no serious disease or insect problems. These qualities, along with its glossy, evergreen leaves and waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers, have made it a mainstay of the suburban landscape in the Southeast. The flowers, leaves, and roots are poisonous and may be lethal to humans and livestock. The species nectar may also be toxic to honeybees if too much is consumed and honey made from Carolina Jessamine nectar may be toxic to humans.

Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)

High-climbing, twining vine, 3-20 ft. long, with smooth, glossy, paired, semi-evergreen leaves and 2-4 flowered clusters of red, tubular blooms followed by bright-red berries. Leaves ovate to oblong with smooth, rolled down margins and a blunt or short pointed tip those immediately below the flowers fused at the base. This vine has showy, trumpet-shaped flowers, red outside, yellow inside, in several whorled clusters at the ends of the stems. Papery, exfoliating bark is orange-brown in color. Fruit a red berry.

This beautiful, slender, climbing vine is frequently visited by hummingbirds. Not too aggressive. Good climber or ground cover. The species name refers to its evergreen habit, especially in the South. Upper leaves are united.

Passiflora incarnata (purple passionflower)

Purple passion-flower is an herbaceous vine, up to 25 ft. long, that climbs with axillary tendrils or sprawls along the ground. Intricate, 3 in., lavender flower are short-stalked from leaf axils. The petals and sepals subtend a fringe of wavy or crimped, hair-like segments. The pistil and stamens are also showy. Three-lobed, deciduous leaves are dark-green above and whitish below. The fruit is a large, orange-yellow berry with edible pulp. Like some other passion vines, Maypop spreads by root suckers.

This unusual flower is widely distributed in the Southeast, especially from Florida to Texas. The plants were given the name Passionflower or Passion vine because the floral parts were once said to represent aspects of the Christian crucifixion story, sometimes referred to as the Passion.

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

A woody, dedicuous vine, Virginia Creeper can be high-climbing or trailing, 3-40 ft.; the structure on which it climbs is the limiting factor. Virginia Creeper climbs by means of tendrils with disks that fasten onto bark or rock. Its leaves, with 5 leaflets, occasionally 3 or 7, radiating from the tip of the petiole, coarsely toothed, with a pointed tip, and tapered to the base, up to 6 inches long. Leaves provide early fall color, turning brilliant mauve, red and purple. Inconspicuous flowers small, greenish, in clusters, appearing in spring. Fruit bluish, about 1/4 inch in diameter.

Virginia Creeper can be used as a climbing vine or ground cover, its leaves carpeting any surface in luxuriant green before turning brilliant colors in the fall. Its tendrils end in adhesive-like tips, giving this vine the ability to cement itself to walls and therefore need no support. The presence of adhesive tips instead of penetrating rootlets also means it doesnt damage buildings the way some vines do. It is one of the earliest vines to color in the fall. A vigorous grower, it tolerates most soils and climatic conditions.

Vitis riparia (riverbank grape)

This deciduous vine trails or climbs 35 ft. or more. Reddish-brown, exfoliating bark; small, loose spikes of yellow-green, fragrant flowers; and bluish-black berries are the plant’s showy characteristics.

 

From the Image Gallery


Peppervine
Nekemias arborea

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Devil's darning needles
Clematis virginiana

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Maypop
Passiflora incarnata

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Riverbank grape
Vitis riparia

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