Stunning Flowering Native Vines for the Southeast


Vines are an effective way so as to add vertical curiosity to your decorative flower beds, and native vines have the additional benefit of supporting native bugs. It appears like a win-win, however vines will also be troublesome if planted within the unsuitable spot. The next 4 vining vegetation are native to the Southeast and thrive in a backyard setting; plant them responsibly to allow them to be loved for years to come back.

Virgin bower’s vine in bloom
The spray of white lacy flowers provides virgin’s bower a fragile look when it blooms in late summer season and fall. Photograph: I, SB Johnny, CC BY-SA 3.0, through Wikimedia Commons

Virgin’s bower

Clematis virginiana, Zones 3–9

This dense, twining climber grows in solar or shade and is beneficial as a screening plant for 3 seasons out of the yr. Clouds of aromatic, small white flowers open to draw pollinators in late summer season. This vine suckers and self-sows, so it’s greatest to present it ample area to stretch alongside a fence or arbor. It could look proper at residence in a cottage or wildlife backyard. Virgin’s bower is an excellent native various to the invasive, but extra in style, candy autumn clematis (Clematis paniculata, Zones 4–9).

coral honeysuckle
Few native vegetation are as colourful as coral honeysuckle, with brilliant pinkish orange blooms.

Coral honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens, Zones 4–9

The red-orange trumpet-shaped flowers of coral honeysuckle are a favourite of hummingbirds once they bloom in spring after which on and off for the remainder of the season. In the meantime, the leaves are a vital meals supply to the caterpillars of the snowberry clearwing and hummingbird clearwing moths, two of the prettiest bugs round. This can be a spiraling climber that twines round buildings fairly than latching onto them. It usually wants some assist climbing when it’s younger, however it should shortly cowl its assist with a progress fee of round 3 to 4 toes per yr when planted in full solar. Though it’s often mistaken for the aromatic and invasive Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica, Zones 4–9), coral honeysuckle has no noticeable odor.

close up of yellow jessamine flowers
The intense flowers of yellow jessamine are a welcome sight once they bloom as early as February. Photograph: David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, through Wikimedia Commons

Yellow jessamine

Gelsemium sempervirens, Zones 7–10

Those that want the colour and perfume of Japanese honeysuckle could discover a good friend in yellow jessamine as an alternative. Also called Carolina jessamine, this magnificence is the state flower of South Carolina and grows with a twining behavior fairly than latching on. It’s evergreen in hotter zones of the Southeast, though it’s barely hardy in my space (Richmond, Virginia). My fellow Zone 7 gardeners will need to search for a range referred to as ‘Margarita’, which reliably overwinters in all however the zone’s most extreme, unusually chilly winters. Be conscious that this plant is poisonous and may trigger pores and skin irritation for some individuals, so it needs to be dealt with with gloves. Yellow jessamine flowers greatest when planted in full solar.

close up of purple passionflower flower
The daring blooms of purple passionflower have an otherworldly presence, rising in June and lasting normally till September.

Purple passionflower

Passiflora incarnata, Zones 5–9

Whereas the blooms of this plant could appear like they arrive from the tropics or probably even a sci-fi movie, purple passionflower is the hardiest species of its genus and is native to the Southeast. This vine is definitely grown in full solar to partial shade, but when it will get too comfy it could actually unfold into undesirable areas through its large root system. For that reason, it’s best grown in a big container or in an space the place a driveway or different hardscape will stop its unfold. It climbs through tendrils (just like a grapevine or a pea plant) and responds very nicely to pruning if wanted. Purple passionflower is the host plant of the gulf fritillary butterfly, and whereas I’m too far north to have encountered them, I’ve spoken to some gardeners in Florida through the years that declare their caterpillars have voracious appetites.

The constructive influence that these vines have on pollinators and bugs can’t be emphasised sufficient, however you’ll need to be sensible when introducing them to your backyard. Any vine, native or nonnative, can stunt the expansion of a tree it’s allowed to climb on. They’ll additionally shortly unfold and overtake the bushes at a forest’s edge, impacting the well being of the general forest. Vines needs to be planted in opposition to artifical helps and never close to bushes.

Virginia creeper growing up side of house
Sure vines like Virginia creeper can depart an ugly residue when rising up the facet of a home. You should definitely plant any vine you need to develop in the best space.

Moreover, whereas the native vines talked about right here don’t connect to buildings or pry up siding, different vines, like Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Zones 3–9), could. You should definitely analysis every vine’s behavior and plant it the place it could actually thrive sustainably.

For extra nice Southeast native vegetation, take a look at:

And for extra Southeast regional reviews, click on right here.


Cheyenne Wine is a author and photographer for Uncommon Roots Nursery in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Pictures, except in any other case famous: Cheyenne Wine

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