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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - June 17, 2015

From: Sedona, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Vines
Title: Will Crossvine damage stucco walls?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

The Crossvine I planted about a month ago is doing well. It is growing up a stucco wall and its little tendrils are sticking to (or into?) the stucco. Is this going to grow into the stucco and damage the wall as it grows bigger?

ANSWER:

Yes, the disk-shaped holdfasts of Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) are very capable of damaging stucco walls.  You might consider replacing your Crossvine with a vine less likely to cause damage.  I attach an answer to a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question that mentions some species you could choose.

"The kind of vine to look for is one that simply twines around its support or that uses tendrils to attach itself loosely to substrates as it climbs.  Tendrils are protuberences like tiny tentacles that wrap around twigs wires, etc. for support.  They would not penetrate stucco, but the vine would need a trellis or other means of support.  Many other species of vine attach by holdfasts, which do bind to almost any surface and often penetrate into it, and should be avoided.

Suggested native species for your situation include Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower)(a fairly rapid grower), Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)Lonicera albiflora (Western white honeysuckle), and Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)   Hopefully one of these will suit your requirements. Most of these plants should be available from your local nurseries."  

 

From the Image Gallery


Purple passionflower
Passiflora incarnata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

 

 

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