Over 100 accessions of vines are displayed in the southwest section of the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden. These vines include species from North America, Europe, and Asia. Many of the vines have notable ornamental features such as showy flowers, colorful fruit, or bright autumn foliage color. Most accessions in the collection are woody vines, but a few, such as hops (Humulus lupulus
), are herbaceous perennial vines.
Vines require some sort of support in order to grow upright. The type of support structure needed is determined by the vine’s climbing method. Common adaptations for climbing include:
- Twining: As the vine’s stem tips grow, they move in a circular pattern until they touch a support such as a branch or wire. The vine then twines around the support, allowing the plant to grow upward. Most of the vines in the collection—including wisterias (Wisteria spp.), honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.), and kiwis (Actinidia spp.)—are twiners and are provided with sturdy metal trellises.
- Twining petioles: Clematis (Clematis spp.) use this unique adaptation for climbing. The petioles (leaf stalks) twine around supports, allowing the vine to continue upward growth.
- Tendrils: Tendrils are threadlike modified leaves that wind tightly around supports such as slender stems, strings, or wire. Look for tendrils on the grape (Vitis spp.) accessions in the collection.
- Adhesive tendrils and aerial rootlets: These adaptations allow vines to cling directly to vertical surfaces such as walls or tree trunks. Adhesive tendrils are branched structures with small, round disks at the branch tips that adhere tightly to flat surfaces. Parthenocissus species such as Virginia creeper (P. quinquefolius) and Boston ivy (P. tricuspidata) have these adhesive disks. Other clinging vines—including climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris) and trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)—cling to surfaces with clusters of hairlike aerial rootlets.
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