Winding Vines

Jr. Batty  |  8/23/2007 12:35:02 AM

Kudzu Vine (Pueraria montana)

Brushkiller (Cayratia Japonica)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

As a result of a recent news article I have somehow become considered a vine expert. (That’s vine expert, not wine expert.)
Several recent calls revolve around someone saying, “a blankety-blank vine is eating my entire yard, storage shed, fence, cat/dog and even children, if they’ve been still long enough.” I realize some of these vines grow fast, but some of their growth is exaggerated.

On the other hand, some aggressive, invasive vines in St.Tammany justify some education on these winding vines. (That’s winding vine, not whining vines.) Let me describe just a few.

There are:

Kudzu vine - large, trifoliate leaves; the middle leaflet is symmetric; the two-sided leaflets are lobed. Seed pods are flat with bulging seeds. Flowers are purple and stalk-like. Stem is yellow/green that becomes rough brown.

Virginia creeper - another high-climbing vine with tendrils. Leaves are alternate and usually there are five leaflets on a long petiole. Very tiny flowers. Fruit droop, black or dark blue, with few tiny seeds.

Brushkiller (Cayratia Japonica) - herbaceous vine with five compound fleshly leaflets having fine hairs. Each leaf has an opposite tendril. Small green flowers with four petals. Has a tuber beneath the ground. Berry fruit is round with two to four seeds.

Honeysuckle vine - traveling, twining vines having opposite leaves. They have two or more, tubular, white, pink, yellow flowers continuing nectar. They produce a small round fruit containing a flat seed.

Poison Ivy – woody vine, alternate, three leaflets that are green turning yellow orange and red in the fall. White-purplish flowers in April and May. Fruit is round ground and tan.

Other vines in the south include trumpet creeper, peppervine, Jessamine, greenbrier, muscadine grapes and wisteria, to name a few.

Vines, by design, grow quickly! They are all manageable if plans are made to maintain them. Keep your wandering vines in check. (That’s wandering vines, not wondering vines.)

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