Native Vine for Craven County Landscapes

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Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea barbara, formerly Decumaria barbara) is a fairly common native vine found in swamps, bottomlands and moist areas. In a landscape setting, it could be used as a groundcover, or maintained on a trellis or fence for privacy. Infinitely preferable to the invasive and destructive English ivy (Hedera helix). Showy umbels of white flowers appear in May or June, but occur only on plant growth that is climbing. Watch for this plant in our local woods this spring.

A group of wide leaves on the end of a stick.

Climbing hydrangea in a Craven County wetlands forest. Typical leaf form is ovate or oval pointed, with smooth margins. Leaves may reach 6 inches or more in length, and 3-6 inches in width. A vine climbing the side of a tree.Some variation in foliage may occur, as in the older leaves of this climbing stem.

Leaves on opposites sides of a stick.

Note the opposite leaf arrangement.

Flowers on the end of a green stem.

About 12 feet off the ground we see a nice display of flowers, but also trouble in the form of a juvenile wheel bug (Arilus cristatus).