Types of Flowers
While many gardeners adopt a ground based space planning strategy for choosing flowers, flowering vines offer gardeners the added dimension of vertical space planning.
Whether the vertical space be a trellis, wall or fence, there's a flowering vine waiting to grow on it. The trick is finding a species that is both suitable to your garden zone and your gardening temperament.
There are literally hundreds of native and non-native flowering vines grown around the United States. They can be evergreen or deciduous, with flower colors more diverse than a rainbow.
Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit): a non-native flowering vine in the morning glory genus.
It grows abundantly in the Southeast and some spots of Southern California, sometimes to the point of being considered an invasive weed.
The bright red flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
Honeysuckle genus (Lonicera): common and popular spring flowering vines or shrubs found throughout the United States.
The Pacific Northwest is home to about ten different native and introduced species.
The top picture shows the orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), a flowering vine, with the flowers ranging from shades of red to orange. The bottom picture shows a red version of the flowers.
They are often found growing along forest floors and are easily identified by the color of the flowers blooming against the two large, round shaped leaves.
Most honeysuckle flowers, including the orange honeysuckle, attract hummingbirds.
Mexican Flame Vine (Senecio Confusus): a bright, flowering vine in the daisy family (Asteraceae).
Its tropical origin makes it a good fit for the tropical and subtropical climates in USDA zones 9-11. The orange flowers turn red with age, adding a very bright color to any fence or wall.
The flowers also attract nectaring butterflies and hummingbirds.
Like many flowering vines, it can be aggressive. Without proper supervision, it can easily overtake a garden or yard, escaping to wild areas.
Passion flowers: genus (Passiflora) of plants in the Passion Flower family (Passifloraceae).
The tropical and subtropical areas of South America host the greatest diversity of species and about twenty native species can be found growing in the southern areas of the United States.
They are categorized as flowering vines, with the flowers having shades as diverse as the rainbow.
Depending on the species, most gardeners in USDA zones 5-9 can raise at least one species. The red passion flower in the picture fits nicely into the red flowers category.
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans): a Southern flowering vine that grows heartily in sunny areas within USDA Zones 6-10.
In fact, it grows so heartily that it can aggressively overtake an area, growing on trees and other vertical structures, including homes. Additionally, its nick name as the cow-itch vine reflects the fact that skin contact with the vine can lead to skin irritations.
The orange to pink trumpet shaped flowers add color to any environment and they also attract hummingbirds.
From colonial times, each generation of Americans has adopted new flowering vine favorites and reaffirmed the choices of older generations.
Two additional long time favorites, Clemantis (Clemantis Paniculata) and Wisteria are very hardy plants that adapt well to colder weather northern climates. Their long term popularity translates into the availability of multiple variety and color choices.
A local garden shop or nursery can provide more detailed information regarding the range of flowering vines suited to any specific area.
© 2009-2011. Patricia A. Michaels