Large Woody Vines & Climbing Plants

Written by christina delegans-bunch
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Large Woody Vines & Climbing Plants
Japanese wisteria is a woody vine. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Woody vines are low-growing plants with long, woody stems that develop a climbing, trailing or creeping formation. Woody vines have three types of support systems: tendrils, aerial roots or twining stems. Some woody vines have a vigorous growth pattern causing them to become invasive. Landscapers plant woody vines as privacy screens, background plants and groundcover, as well as shade for patios and decks. Woody vines come in an assortment of species.

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Evergreen vines keep their leaves year-round. The violet trumpet vine (Clytostoma callistegioides) is a 30 to 40 foot long vine with glossy. green evergreen leaves and climbing tendrils. Yellow allamanda (Allamanda cathartica) is a woody, climbing vine from the Apocynaceae plant family with green, lustrous leaves. Creeping fig (Ficus pumila) is an endemic woody vine from Asia that climbs to heights of 15 to 20 feet with heart-shaped leaves. It belongs to the Moraceae plant family.


Deciduous vines lose their foliage in the winter. The Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a woody vine with tendrils from the Vitaceae family that grows to lengths of 30 to 50 feet. Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia durior) is a 30-foot long member of the Aristolochiaceae plant family; this woody vine has deciduous, dark-green, heart-shaped leaves. Peppervine (Ampelopsis arborea) is a native North Carolina woody vine with bipinnately compound deciduous leaves from the Vitaceae family.


Flowering vines are plants with colourful blooms. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a 15 to 25 foot long spring-to-fall blooming woody vine indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere. It flourishes with trumpet-shaped flowers of yellow and red. Climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subspecies petiolaris) is a 50-foot long woody vine from the Hydrangeaceae family flourishing in June and July. Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) is a climbing woody vine with pinnate foliage and showy purplish-blue flowers from the Fabaceae plant family.


Greenbriar (Smilax rotundifolia) is a climbing woody vine native to the Eastern United States that grows to 30 feet in length with deep-green, leathery foliage. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spectabilis), part of the Nyctaginaceae plant family, is a 3 to 36 foot long woody vine covered with thorns indigenous to South America. Catbrier (Smilax glauca) is a native United States climbing vine belonging to the Smilacaceae plant family that develops thorny twigs.

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