Native Vines

Part of the Native Plant Trail


Written and narrated by Ed Miller.

Native Vines

Several families have vine members which we have collected here (minus poison ivy of course).

First are three species of grape, easily identified by differences in the appearance of the bottom leaf surface. Next, using a black locust for support, is Clematis virginiana (aka virgin bower and aka Old man's beard when in fruit). On the same tree is Moonseed (Menispermum); note the unusual point of attachment of the leaf and its stem. In back of this tree, common woodbine climbs another locust, and on the tree to its right is grape woodbine, very similar to common woodbine but lacking the suction cups on its tendrils so that it can't climb smooth surfaces. It does all right on most tree bark.

Ahead are three species of climbing Lonicera. Running out of trees, they are climbing on steel stakes. Notice the Bittersweet nearby. It is the awfully invasive oriental species, but this is a male plant and I will keep an eye on it in case it changes sex (some plants do that). It is here to help people learn how it looks compared to the native species. The only harm it can do is hybridize the seeds of the native bittersweet growing a few steps further on the left.

We have planted Prickly Ash here; it is not a vine, but this plant is often misidentified as a locust. Here it can easily be compared to Black Locust growing nearby. We had been reluctant to plant Prickly Ash as it can be invasive, but last year we planted a male clone and located it in the middle of a mowed area so that it would not spread by rhizomes. Ed Miller, curator, Landis Native Plant Trail, February 8, 2013