Two Beautiful Vines

Our native crossvine in full bloom
photo by William Keller

Tangerine Beauty Crossvine in full color

I rarely write about vines, but I think these two are worth a few words. The beauty of spring is now all around us, and we often overlook vines and their beauty except maybe the escaped wisteria along the roadsides which is a pest. These two crossvine vines merit more use in our garden. Our native crossvine is a good grower and a good plant to put on a fence or trellis. Most often we see it in shrubs or trees where birds have dropped the seeds. They  come up unnoticed until they bloom, or the vines are in need of pulling out. On the other hand, its selection in the nursery trade, tangerine beauty is quite a showman. It is a real beauty and vigorous but controllable. They are heavy bloomers and quite hardy in our area. Most good garden centers carry this selection while the native crossvine will probably have to be ordered from a native plant nursery. Neither of these plants are hard to grow, and as you can guess they do well in most of our soil type around Birmingham. The one thing they do not enjoy is wet feet. Other great vines you might want to consider for our area that I am fond of are yellow jessamine, hybrid clematis, climbing hydrangea, silver lace vine and our native honey suckle in both red and yellow. So add a vine to your garden, but be sure to give it some support to show off its beauty

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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