The Different Kinds Of Vines And Ground Covers

The Different Kinds Of Vines And Ground Covers
by Keith Markensen

Here are some good vines and ground covers for you to use in the NORTHWEST

BEARBERRY – A low dense mat like broad-leaved evergreen thrives in sun or shade and prefers a sandy soil. It is a native plant and may be collected from the wild; however, nursery-grown plants establish more easily. Its scientific name is Arctostaphylos Uvaursi.

DWARF HOLLY-GRAPE – A native plant, known as Mahonia repens, creeps by underground roots and forms a good cover to 10 inches high. Its broad leaves are handsome, and it will live in any soil if it has sun or part-day shade.

CLEMATIS – There are many species and in the Northwest Clematis paniculata is a semi-evergreen and vigorous vine. If permitted, it will reach 30 feet. It likes an alkaline soil and full sun. It produces fragrant white flowers in fall.

COMMON PERIWINKLE – A popular ground cover with pale blue flowers in early spring, Vinca minor will thrive in sun or part shade. Because it will grow in an acid soil it is frequently used as a broad leaved cover between acid-loving rhododendrons and is useful beneath trees where a lawn is difficult to maintain. It grows 10 inches high.

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ROSE DAPHNE – A plant with a preference for acid soil, it will trail over banks and walls and is effective in a rock garden. Known as Daphne Cneoram, its broad leaves are attractive throughout the year and its pale pink flowers are beautiful in spring. It forms a dense mat-like growth in sun or part shade.

WINTER JASMINE – A hardy shrub to 10 degrees below zero, it will make a ground cover 3 feet high or its trailing branches, which spread 15 feet, may be trained on a trellis to display its yellow flowers in early spring except West of the Cascades, where it blooms in winter. It likes an acid soil and full sun. You will find it listed as Jasminum nudiflorum.

ENGLISH IVY – A garden vine which clings to walls and tree trunks, often it goes as high as 90 feet, but creeping along the ground it rarely exceeds 8 inches in height. Known as Hedera Helix it is found in many nurseries and is easily propagated from cuttings. Its broad leaves are a good green all year and it will live in sun or shade. As one of the popular garden vines It is not particular as to soil type.

ST. JOHNSWORT – Known as Hypericum Mosericmum, this is a fine ground cover, 2 feet tall, for the coastal areas, Puget Sound, Snake River valley and protected valleys. It likes an acid soil and sun or part shade. It has attractive yellow flowers in summer.

WINTERCREEPER – Both Euonymus Fortunei vegetus and the species minimum are used as low ground covers and as climbing vines in all parts of the Northwest. They prefer an acid soil and do well in sun or shade.

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