Vines at the FWG 2019-07-11T11:30:40+00:00

by Gordon Robertson

Vines are plants that can wind themselves up other plants or surfaces, called lianas, or use climbing stems to connect to supporting structures or other plants. In the absence of other plants they may climb about plants of its own species to rise higher. Some vines in absence of support will become bush-like, such as Poison Ivy or Bittersweet Nightshade. Vines typically grow faster than other plants because they put less energy and resources into creating strong stems. Often their leaves will cover plants, shrubs, or trees that they climb and block out the sunlight eventually killing the supporting plant. Care should be given when removing climbing vines because of possibly damaging the underlying plant. Instead, cutting the vine’s stem will usually be enough to save the  supporting plant.

Bittersweet (Celastraceae)


American Bittersweet

Celastrus scandens

Bourreau-des-arbres

Family: Bittersweet (Celastraceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Evergreen Woods
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: Yellowish-green
Type: vine
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Vine can grow longer than 10 m
Light requirements: Full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Grows on rocky slopes, woodland areas and thickets, often it winds itself around trees.

Wildlife use: Berries attract many birds and critters.

Notes: Orange-red berries in fall. Berries are poisonous to humans. The vine will climb mature trees, but may damage smaller trees. Grows best along a fence or another support structure.

Propagation: The American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) is a dioecious vine, bearing either male or female flowers. In order to produce flowers and fruits you must have a female and a male vine near each other for bees to pollinate the female.

Provenance: Seeds collected on Barryvale Road.

American Bittersweet

Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)


Virginia Clematis

Clematis virginiana

Clématite de Virginie

Family: Buttercup (Ranunculaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: FR RO
Flower colour: White
Type: vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Up to 6 m
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Stream banks, thickets, wood edges. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Used by small bees and wasps.

Notes: Flowers are much smaller than horticultural varieties of clematis, but occur in clusters. Self-seeds. In the wild it climbs over shrubs and trees. Can be tied to a trellis, but better to allow it to grow over an arbor or fence.

Propagation: Easy to start from gathered wild seed; germination much higher after cold moist stratification for 4 months. Can also be propagated by “layering,” i.e., cover part of the vine with soil until it produces roots, then separate from parent plant.

Provenance:

Virginia Clematis

Gourd (Cucurbitaceae)


Wild Cucumber

Echinocystis lobata

Concombre sauvage

Family: Gourd (Cucurbitaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: West edge of Old Woodlot; slope on east side of Resource Centre
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: White
Type: vine
Blooming time: Late summer
Height:
Light requirements: Sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Stream banks, moist thickets, clearings. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use:

Notes: This vine is an annual, but self seeds readily. Grows up and over shrubs; good choice to mask compost bins. Will grow on low fence. Susceptible to cold; wilts severely after first frost.

Propagation: Easy to grow from seeds. No special treatment needed. Seeds can be collected from spiny green fruit in early fall. Seeds are ripe when they are black with speckles – like large watermelon seeds – and fruit has split open at the bottotm. As fruit dries, the seeds fall out, so collecting period is short.

Provenance:

Wild Cucumber

Grape (Vitaceae)


Riverbank Grape

Vitis riparia

Vigne des rivages

Family: Grape (Vitaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot, Evergreen Woods
Backyard garden bed: FR
Flower colour: White
Type: vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height:
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average to moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: River banks, thickets, forest edges. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Fruit is eaten by many birds and mammals in fall and winter: red and gray squirrels, cardinals, cedar and bohemian waxwings, robins, catbirds, and others. Also used by several species of moths found at the FWG, such as the grape-leaf-folder.

Notes: Greenish white to cream-coloured flowers; tart dark blue-black berries.

Propagation: Not tried.

Provenance: The vine on our front patio must have grown from a seed left by wildlife.

Riverbank Grape


False Virginia Creeper / (Grape) Woodbine / Thicket Creeper

Parthenocissus inserta (syn. vitacea)

Vigne vierge

Family: Grape (Vitaceae)
Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden; Hedgerow; thickets
Backyard garden bed: EN
Flower colour: Greenish
Type: vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Not applicable
Light requirements: Full sun to part shade
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Clearings, forest edges, fence lines. Common in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Dark blue berries are eaten by Cedar Waxwings, robins, other songbirds.

Notes: Climbing woody, perennial vine. Fast growing once it is established. Too heavy for a trellis, but can be trained to grow over a pergola. Established plants will send out shoots along the ground, then grow up over fences, shrubs, etc. Prune back severely. Unlike Virginia Creeper branches of tendrils are disc-less and split into 3 to 5 vs. 5 to 12 for Virginia Creeper.

Propagation: Not tried.

Provenance:

False Virginia Creeper

Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)


Trumpet Honeysuckle / Coral Honeysuckle / Scarlet Honeysuckle

Lonicera sempervirens

Chèvrefeuille toujours vert

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: North America
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: EN
Flower colour: Scarlet/orange with yellow inside
Type: Vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height:
Light requirements: Full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Prefers moist, loamy soils.

Wildlife use: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies.

Notes: Tolerates shade, but number of flowers proportional to amount of sun. Adapts to a wide range of soils. Blooms primarily on previous year’s stems, so prune to shape after flowering.

Propagation: Not tried. Seeds seem to disappear soon after flowers die.

Provenance:

Trumpet Honeysuckle


Tartarian Honeysuckle*

Lonicera tatarica

Chèvrefeuille de Tartarie

Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Native to: Siberia
Location at the FWG: Near parking lot
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: Pink
Type: Vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height: to 3 m
Light requirements: Full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: disturbed habitat.

Wildlife use: Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies.

Notes: Introduced as an ornamental plant in 1752. Fruits are not edible for humans

Propagation:

Provenance:

Tartarian Honeysuckle

Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)


Pale Swallowwort / Dog-strangling Vine*

Vincetoxicum rossicum (= Cynanchum rossicum)

Dompte-venin de Russie

Family: Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)
Native to: Ukraine, and southeast Russia
Location at the FWG: all environments
Backyard garden bed: invasive
Flower colour: pink, red-brown, or maroon
Type: vine
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Vine can grow longer than 3 m
Light requirements: Shade to full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Grows on most soils, winds up trees, and other plants, including other DSV.

Wildlife use: None.

Notes: Seed pods are smaller than a milkweeds.

Propagation: DON’T.

Provenance:

Dog-strangling Vine

Moonseed (Menispermaceae)


(Canadian or Common) Moonseed

Menispermum canadense

Family: Moonseed ( Menispermaceae)
Native to: Eastern North America
Location at the FWG: Old Woodlot (south east near escarpment)
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: white
Type: vine
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Vine can grow to 6 m
Light requirements: Shade
Moisture requirements: Moist
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Moist woods

Wildlife use: None.

Notes: All parts of this plant are known to be poisonous. Berry resembles grape but seed is crescent shaped.

Propagation:

Provenance:

Moonseed

Morning Glory (Convolvulaceae)


Hedge Bindweed

Calystegia sepium

Liseron des haies

Family: Morning Glory (Convolvulaceae)
Native to: Northern Hemisphere
Location at the FWG: all environments
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: white
Type: vine
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Vine can grow longer to 4 m
Light requirements: Shade to full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use:

Notes:

Propagation:

Provenance:

Hedge Bindweed


Field Bindweed*

Convolvulus arvensis

Liseron des champs

Family: Morning Glory (Convolvulaceae)
Native to: Europe and Asia
Location at the FWG: all environments
Backyard garden bed:
Flower colour: white with pink
Type: vine
Blooming time: Spring
Height: Vine can grow longer to 2 m
Light requirements: Shade to full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat:

Wildlife use:

Notes:

Propagation:

Provenance:

Field Bindweed

Nightshade (Solanaceae)


Bittersweet (Nightshade) / Bitter Nightshade*

Solanum dulcamara

Douce-amère / Morelle douce-amère

Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae)
Native to: Europe and Asia
Location at the FWG: all environments
Backyard garden bed: intoduced
Flower colour: purple with yellow stamens
Type: vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height: Vine can grow 1 to 2 m
Light requirements: Shade to full sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Grows on most soils, winds up trees, and other plants, including other DSV.

Wildlife use: None.

Notes: Fruit is a greee then red berry that is poisonous to children and animals.

Propagation:

Provenance:

Bittersweet Nightshade

Poppy (Papaveraceae)


Allegheny Vine

Adlumia fungosa

Adlumie fongueuse

Family: Poppy (Papaveraceae)

Native to: Eastern Ontario
Location at the FWG: Backyard Garden
Backyard garden bed: EN
Flower colour: White to pale pink
Type: Vine
Blooming time: Summer
Height:
Light requirements: Sun
Moisture requirements: Average
Soil: Average
pH: Neutral

Natural habitat: Wooded or rocky slopes. Uncommon in the Ottawa region.

Wildlife use: Unknown

Notes: Biennial vine. Delicate leaves and flowers. Related to bleeding heart and corydalis.

Propagation: Fairly easy to grow from seed.

Provenance: Unknown

Allegheny Vine

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This page was revised on 14 December 2018
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