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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 - March 20, 2013

From: Concord, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Vines
Title: Evergreen vine for screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have pretty much "dead" red-tipped photinia bushes and old pine trees that have seen better days, on a steep hillside. We need to remove and replace with a more natural setting, with some terracing. My main question is- at the top of our hill, separating us from the neighbor, is a chain link fence. I would like to plant some evergreen "screening" vine along that fence line. We live just north of Charlotte, NC. Vine does not need to be flowering, and would prefer not! Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

There are only a few evergreen vines native to your area of North Carolina and the majority of those have showy flowers.  All the vines below should do a good job of covering your fence.

Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine) is evergreen with showy yellow and red flowers.   Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine) is evergreen with showy yellow flowers.   Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Gelsemium rankinii (Swamp jessamine) is evergreen with yellow flowers and grows in wet places.  Here are photos and more information from Virginia Tech and Learn to Grow.

Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) is evergreen with red flowers.  Here are more photos and information from Duke University.

Smilax laurifolia (Laurel greenbriar) is semi-evergreen to evergreen, has thorns and inconspicuous flowers.  Here are photos and more information from Virginia Tech and Duke University.

Smilax smallii (Lanceleaf greenbrier) is evergreen with small inconspicuous flowers and a fast growth rate.  Here are photos and more information from Georgia Wildlife Federation and Online Plant Guide.com.

 

From the Image Gallery


Crossvine
Bignonia capreolata

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Lance-leaf greenbriar
Smilax smallii

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