What are your votes for the prettiest and most edible trellis-growing vines for the front of my home. Full sun most of the day (southern exposure)? I may interplant with clematis....
purple passion flower vine
I'm with scottejupiter. As long as you contain its underground runners, Passiflora incarnata (also called purple passionflower, maypop, or apricot vine) may be one of the best vines for your purposes. It grows very quickly, does not require good soil or much watering, produces heavy foliage with tropical blooms, and constantly produces fruit throughout the summer and early fall. The only drawbacks would be the extremly invaisive underground runners and that in zone 6 the vines will die back to the ground (put mulch over the rootball and it will come back out in spring). The vines are affected by few diseases and bug problems are restricted to the Gulf Fritilary butterfly (lays its eggs on the vine).
You also might want to look into grapes or thorn-less blackberries. Hope this helps.
Passion vines and flowers are spectacularl. There are some fruiting and some non-fruiting varieties so shop carefully. The maypop os a bit bland as passion fruits go. The flowers are some of the most beautiful flowers in the world in my opinion.
There is one "bug issue" you should be aware of. Bumblebees love the flowers. We had a vine growing up the stair railing to our townhouse in Virignia and EVERY blossom had a bumblebee on it. They stayed on the flower and did not move, seemingly intoxicated. They were so passive that we actually petted them, so they were no problem at all even though we walked within inches of them every time we went in and out of the house.
PAssion flowers are gorgeous, but there is also honeysuckle which is traditionally grown over the front door of a home to fight off bad vibes and whatnot. It also smells great, especially on sultry summer evenings when the breeze wafts its lucious perfume into the house. Your local gardening store should have or be able to easily command several varieties that are good for your area. And, if grown organically, both the fruit of the passion flower and the flower itself of the honeysuckle are edible. Happy gardening!
Scarlett runner beans are really beauties and attract a lot of humming birds .They make great tasting beans also.They are annuals so save some seed.They will also set some nitrogen for your clematis.
I have found that hops can be lovely grown up a trellis, especially when mixed with other things...also kiwi, although it can get a little overwhelming! Roses are edible, but they too have the tendency to overwhelm...
Good luck to you!
I have all kinds of tender vines growing in and around my garden. I am watching them to see what they will become. Any recommendations for a website or book source to identify each one and determine if it is edible? I have been nibbling at them and some are good tasting.
KDunning - Can you take pics of or scan these vines? I have a pretty good-sized library of books on wild edibles and I may be able to help you.
Butterfly pea is a lovely wildflower where I live that vines. Its peas are small but are said to be edible. It's visited by bumblebees, too.
I have a special note wrt bumblebees. We gets loads of them near the house, but they seem quite non-aggressive. They will sometimes fly around you in a circle, which I understand is a navigation thing - they sight on an object, fly around it a couple times and take a heading using the "object" (you) and the sun.
I hired a tree guy to cut down and remove a huge dead oak which was covered with asian wisteria (grrr). It was blooming and loaded with bumblebees, and he never got stung.
I think I'm voting for Scarlet Runner Bean as you can be assured food off the darn thing and the hummers love it.
I also like Cinnamon Vine with it's lacey clusters of cinnamon scented flowers(yum). The only thing is I'm not sure how the tubers (the edible part) taste. Mine are not yet large enough to harvest.
Kiwi is the perfect solution, for me in the north I plant arctic beauty which prefers partial shade, for you "hardy kiwi" which prefers full sun. Delicious fruit, high in vit C and easy to eat, no peeling.
I'm surprised no one mentioned this brewable herb yet.
Honeysuckkle is lovely but it's not edible.
flora uk- As a child we used to pull the stamen off the end of the blossoming flower and suck out the necter drops. Still do this. LOL. You don't get a lot, but it sure is sweet.
Akebia is another nice vine, with VERY odd edible fruit. More a curiosity than a food source. The flowers aren't too notable but the foliage is quite attractive. It takes two to fruit. They grow like weeds and take no care that I can tell.
i am still waiting on my schizandra berry/magnolia vine to bloom and fruit before i can say whether it is worthwhile. it doesn't seem like there are many people who have experience with this one.
fairy toadmother, I went out and picked a few schisandra berries just for you. :-D They are a little puckery with a pronounced resinous taste like a juniper leaf. I looked in my PFAF file and it mentions harvesting them after frost so maybe they get better. They are not high yielders. But they are supposed to be medicinal. The vines try to sucker and spread. I don't consider them very attractive, rather yellowish.
Grew Bitter Melon this year for the first time. Produced alot of fruit and was quite tasty in soups and stews or in the traditional stuffed pork dish. Also chutneyed some of it.
The vine is attractive, with kinda maple looking leaves and cute little yellow flowers. No bugs or mildew and grew robustly even when blown over on ground. Should look real good with Clematis.
A plus - it is supposed to add to a long life span. Also can make a nice skin lotion from the juice. Is an annual so dont have to deal with the pups like a passie. By the way it just mixed in with my passies and held its own!
I think scarlet runner bean is a pretty vine..... with decent beans ..... :)
a note about the edibility of honeysuckles- they are, definitely. in fact, a 4 star restaurant makes a sorbet out of the bloosoms & the recipe was printed in our paper his yr. had to try it and it was out of this world! very strong- you only need a bit. it's not as much work as it sounds, either.
5 2/3 cups cool water
4 cups honeysuckle blossoms, tightly packed but not smashed (see Note)
2 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups water
Few drops lemon juice
Dusting of cinnamon
Add cool tap water to flowers. Place in a nonreactive container (glass or stainless steel) and let stand on the counter overnight.
The next day, make a simple syrup by heating sugar and 1 2/3 cups water in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture is clear, then boiling it for a minute or so, until the syrup begins to appear lustrous and slightly thick.
Remove from heat and add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent the sugar from recrystallizing. Cool the syrup.
Strain the honeysuckle infusion, gently pressing the blossoms so as not to waste any of your efforts.
Combine the two liquids and add just the merest dusting of ground cinnamon -- hardly any. (You don't want to really taste it, but you can tell if it's not there.)
Churn in an ice cream freezer, according to the manufacturer's directions.
Note: Four cups of flowers is the least you will need to make this worthwhile. If you're using more, adapt the ingredients as follows: Use 1 2/3 cups water for each cup of flowers for the initial infusion. For the syrup, use 2/3 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar for every cup of flowers.
Makes 1 generous quart.
I've grown cukes successfully. I've also seen other squash and gourds grown in a comical fashion over trellises. Along the thread of trellising, does anyone have suggestions on how to protect the tender trellising plant from burning on a metal trellis support, say one of those metal arch things? The heat reflecting off my kid's little archway to their garden scorched the clematis and rose, and only the morning glory persisted.
I will second the Akebia vines. In zone 8 they stay evergreen, I don't know about zone 6, and after several years one of mine finally fruited. There is a photo of the fruit in this website, you would have to look for the vines, you might find info on other vines that would be interesting too:
The fruits look like some alien lifeform, a 3-8" pod with a rubbery feel and delicate lavender coloring, that splits open to reveal a strange column of gelatinous stuff with black seeds embedded. I liked the taste, it was mild but tropical. I thought it more edible than passionfruit, which is more something you use to flavor drinks.
You could also look into the medicinal properties of the various vines. Passiflora leaves, honeysuckle flowers (anti-bacterial), Schisandra berries, etc.
Scarlet Runner Beans are my hands down favorite!!! Both the flowers & the beans are edible (as fresh snap, fresh shelled, or dry shelled beans) - & both flowers & beans have a deliciously "beany" flavor. The flowers can also be candied for decorations. In addition, the flowers attract bees & hummingbirds.
Varieties come in both scarlet & scarlet-&-white varieties. Just be careful when buying for trellis training not to accidentally buy the "bush" variety of Scarlet Runner Bean. While it's just as attractive, it doesn't climb.
I've been considering growing maypop or purple passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata) myself but am not really sure it will grow (and produce fruit!) in my zone. Some sources of the plant say it's hardy to zone 6 and others to zone 5. I'm considering planting it on a trellis next to our porch on the south side of our house (perhaps after evicting the trumpet vine I planted there last year unless the two are capable of coexisting without clashing terribly both physically and aesthetically?). Another possibility is up a cottonwood in our backyard but it would be exposed to the cold north winds there and be harder to restrain. Also, is it possible to plant maypop in a large container set in the ground to restrain it somewhat?
NOw I've had little luck getting passionflower to perennialize here (one failure, we'll see this summer about #2). In my experience I can't see a passionflower competing with a trumpet vine, the second one will just take over. Also, the passionflower will have to start over from the ground each year, where the trumpet vine will resprout from the previous year's growth.
I've read that passionflower incarnata does not like to be pot bound (it will not flower well in such conditions) , but as I said earlier I've not had enough experience with it to say for sure.
There is a passionflower forum, that would be the place to ask. Or the vines forum.
Thank you! I had been wondering about trumpetvine's tendency to "take over". I'm now thinking that spot just isn't a good one for the trumpetvine at all (too close to the porch and inadequate support for such a vigorous vine...not to mention that it will be difficult to keep it out of the nearby flower beds). I'll check the forums you mentioned to see if passionflower will foot the bill there or if I should look for something else. Thank you!
hemnancy- i just read your post on schizandra berry vine. how disappoining. the nickname makes it sound like it would be a gorgeous bloomer. mine has flower buds on it now for the first time. i am still thrilled because i have been waiting so long to see it bloom.
Schizandra is unusually slow to establish, but in two or three years I find the whole plant attractive in color and form.
The relatively small white flowers become more abundant with each year, and each flower becomes a cluster of fruits, rather like grapes. In the late summer (rooftop in NYC) the fruits become a beautiful crimson depending from my arbor.
I look forward to waiting for the first flosts to harvest, because the taste earlier is pretty medicinal.
I interplant with scarlet runner beans, too. Yumm
We have 3 trellis covered yearly with the bright orange trumpet vines, when they pod, we notice some are 4-5 inches long and we have such an abundance, that we want to know if the pods or seeds inside or edible andif so, how are they prepared. Thank-you, Becky or r_r_hood
You can look plants up on the Plants for a Future website to check edibilty. Here is for trumpet vine, it is rated 0 for edibilty and 2 for medicinal uses.
Schisandra is an attractive vine. The regular vine requires a male and female plant to get fruit, but the variety Eastern Prince, S. chinensis, is self-fertile and the leaves can be cooked or made into tea as well as the berries being edible. It has an edibility rating of 4 and medicinal rating of 5!
Here is a link that might be useful: Schisandra