Flowering Vines

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Flowering vines are a graceful addition to any garden, yard, or other setting. They're especially effective, of course, in masking or disguising the unsightly. This might be a fence line, adjacent property, a shed, or a carport. Wonderful in pulling the sweep of bloom from ground level to eye level and higher, vines can be trained to grow almost anywhere. The sole caution is that some vines--such as wisteria--are aggressive.

A Sampling of Flowering Vines

Morning glories (Ipomoea purpurea) are quick growing annuals with splendid blooms about four to six inches across, the best known of which is a magnificent blue. While its vigorous growth pattern can make it a nuisance, it's nonetheless a favorite. Simple to grow from seed and self-sufficient, morning glory blooms twist open into saucers of color that on warm days close up by noon, but on cloudy ones may stay open all day.

Carolina jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a lovely evergreen with a moderate to rapid growth pattern. Tolerant of both drought and wind, its five pointed yellow flowers and narrow leaves are toxic. It thrives in both sun and partial shade, is marvelously fragrant, and blooms in the spring. Wiry stems climb by twining themselves around whatever they are growing on, be it an arbor, a fence, a trellis, or a tree or shrub.

Red trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a fairly hardy evergreen of the middle southern states. While a vigorous plant, it is fairly easily maintained, grows in both sun and shade, but needs sun to bloom heavily. Red trumpet flowers attract hummingbirds and its fruit, which ranges in color from red to scarlet, attracts many other birds as well.


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