Native Vines for Southern Gardens
Passion Flower, Crossvine and Coral Honeysuckle Vines
Native vines add vertical growing spaces to your landscape. Add an attractive trellis to a garden bed and you add another focal point to your yard. Vine covered trellises can also serve as screens or outdoor "room dividers".
My favorite native vines are multi-purpose vines like Passion Flower (Passiflora spp.), Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) and Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). All three have lovely flowers that attract birds, butterflies and other pollinators, including hummingbirds.
Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata
Click to buy Crossvine Postcard by naturegirl7 at Zazzle.com
Crossvine's dusty red and yellow flowers bloom high in the trees of southern forests just when the Ruby-throated hummingbirds return from their winter grounds. The flowers have a spicy scent and hummingbirds and other pollinators use them.
The evergreen vines grow well on a trellis or fence so will fit right into the landscape.
Gulf Fritillary on Passion Flower
Native "Maypop", Passiflora incarnata
Cultivar of Passiflora incarnata
Click to buy Fritillary and Passion Vine by naturegirl7 at Zazzle.com
Passiflora incarnata or Maypop is native to Louisiana and other southern states. This vine can be found growing in open woods and fields. Delicious yellow oval fruit follows the lovely purple and white flowers.
There are many very showy cultivars of the native Passiflora incarnata. A very small yellow flowered Passion vine (Passiflora lutea) is also native. Gulf Fritillary butterflies use all varieties of Passiflora as a host plant.
Passion flower was named because Christian priests saw symbolism in it's unusual flower. According to Wikipedia, the common name refers to the Passion of Christ because:
"The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance. The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ. The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles (less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer). The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns. The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail. The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance). The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity."
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Passion Vine with 5-points on leaves
Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens
Unlike its Asian cousin, Coral Honeysuckle is a well behaved vine that will stay in bounds. The coral flowers are full of sweet nectar and are a favorite of hummingbirds. The flowers are followed by a jellybean-like fruit that is eaten by many songbirds.
Coral Honeysuckle will bloom several times a year in part shade or full sun. It prefers rich, well drained soil. A fence or light trellis should be provided for support.
Coral Honeysuckle Plants
Gulf Fritillary on Passiflora lutea
Books About Growing Native Plants
An excellent guide about growing and propagating woody native U.S. plants.
Gardening with Native Plants
- Gardening with Native Plants
Using native plants in the landscape and sustainable gardening are 2 hot topics, today. Gardening with Native Plants will provide you with lists of wildflowers and native plants as well as techniques and links to more information to get you started o
- Planting for Birds and Wildlife
Welcoming birds and animals into our yard has been a most enjoyable experience. The beauty and motion that they add to the landscape makes the garden that we have created seem all the more beautiful. We have provided a planting list with photographs
- Butterflies - Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillaries on Sultan's Turban flowers. Click to buy Gulf Fritillary Duo by naturegirl7 on Zazzle.com. The Gulf Fritillary is a southern longwing butterfly with bright red-orange wings above and brown...
- Solve Drainage Problems With a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a beautiful solution to drainage problems on your property from stormwater runoff and other sources. A single inch of rain falling on a roof or other impervious surface produces 680 gallons...
© 2011 Yvonne L. B.
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