Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 01, 2009

From: Plattsmouth, NE
Region: Midwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Native trailing plant for Nebraska
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in the tall grass prairie area of Eastern Nebraska and am working on some prairie restoration and native plantings. I have just put in a limestone retaining wall and would like to find a native trailing plant that would grow over this wall. Any ideas. Thanks in advance.


Congratulations and good luck on your restoration project.  You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in out Native Plant Database, choosing 'Nebraska' from the Select State or Province option and 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance) category to see a variety of choices for vines or trailing plants.  You could plant the vines at the bottom of the retaining wall to climb up the wall or at the top to trail down the wall.  Here are a few choices from that list:

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry) for part shade

Clematis virginiana (devil's darning needles)

Clematis pitcheri (bluebill)

Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

You might also consider one of the Rubus sp. [blackberry, raspberry, dewberry—e.g., Rubus flagellaris (northern dewberry) or Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (grayleaf red raspberry)].  Although they aren't officially listed as vines in our Native Plant Database, they would trail down the wall and provide fruit for wildlife and for you as well.

Mahonia repens

Clematis virginiana

Clematis pitcheri

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Rubus flagellaris

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus



More Vines Questions

Is Convolvulus equitans poisonous?
August 22, 2015 - Hello, Can you tell me if convolvulus equitans is poisonous? If so, can you tell me how poisonous and which parts are poisonous? I am considering putting this in my backyard but I have a dog and an...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
October 02, 2013 - Mr. Smarty-Pants, I have pokeweed growing all over my backyard. I know this plant is poisonous, how do I get rid of it for good? Also, a broad leaf vine that is swallowing my trees whole.
view the full question and answer

Mexican species Orbexilum melanocarpum.
January 04, 2013 - This is not a question; just a note to supplement a previous MSP post answering a query about a source for Orbexilum. The "mountain pea" that the original questioner was asking about is the e...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine growing in Naples Florida
September 15, 2014 - I live on country/residential property outside of Naples, Florida. This year I have had dozens of seedlings of some type of vine popping up all over. I have posted on a couple plant blogs looking for ...
view the full question and answer

Is Poison ivy always rooted in the ground?
November 11, 2015 - Does Poison ivy on a tree always start at the ground and climb up the tree or can it start producing its vine and leaves by itself at the top of the tree or middle?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.