Contact Us Host an Event 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?

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

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
1 rating

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

More Vines Questions

Identification of vine in Pennsylvania
June 11, 2012 - I have several vine plants growing in my deck planters from last season. The leaves are 9 pointed, it looks more like 7, but there are 2 little points at the very bottom of the larger leaves. When t...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Poison Ivy in Semi-wetland Massachusetts
June 27, 2013 - You answered this question for Tennessee, but I would like an answer for a Massachusetts semi-wetlands area: What can I plant to discourage poison ivy, or at least make it very clear that it is poison...
view the full question and answer

Jelly from wild grapes with a few peppervine berries from Dunnellon FL
August 20, 2010 - Thank you for your quick response to my question. Due to your answer, I am going to make jelly from this juice.
view the full question and answer

Why won't my Campsis cultivar flower in Lowell MA
February 08, 2010 - I bought a Campsis trumpet vine cultivar in 2006 and planted near my fence in my yard hoping to cover the fence with the vine. Well 4 seasons later the vine has grown about 5 ft. in area but has yet ...
view the full question and answer

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