A Fine Vine (Inclined to Twine)

One of the most exciting things for us about moving to a new place is getting to meet new plants.  Although we moved here six months ago from elsewhere in the North Carolina mountains,  we’ve lost several hundred feet in elevation and gained about five or six degrees in temperature.  And although both areas are in the same planting zone (Zone 6), there’s quite a difference in the landscape. 

So here at the doublewide, we see quite a few plants that we’re not familiar with, most of them growing in the fields around us.  We’ve left several mystery plants to grow in the new planting beds we’ve made, thinking that they looked promising for wildflower growth, only to watch them develop into very large, very deeply-rooted, very prolific, and very ugly weeds.

One of the plants we’re most curious about is the vine that grows along part of our barbed-wire fence.  I say “grows along.”  Actually it grows up, down, around, across, along, and aside. The most interesting thing about it is that once a tendril grows all the way to the top of the fence post, it just keeps going, shooting heavenward.  Then all the other little vine stems follow that one, spiraling around it, one after another, until it forms a large green braid, a big corkscrew several inches in diameter whorling out several feet above the fence post.

Though it seems to grow enthusiastically, it doesn’t appear to be scheming to take over the world like, for example, our old friend kudzu (the vine that ate the South).  So we’ve let it grow, keeping a careful eye on nearby trees.

I would be most grateful if one of my knowledgeable, resourceful, and brilliant readers could tell me what our mystery vine is.  And whether we’ve been reckless by letting it grow unchecked and so may have to buy that goat or cow after all.

Is our fine, inclined-to-twine vine benign?  Or will our vine grow out of line—and so a vine to be maligned?

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14 Responses to “A Fine Vine (Inclined to Twine)”

  1. luckypennies Says:

    I love that vine and all of its curlicues and spiraling tendrils. And I love your title. It would be a crime to let a fine twined vine get too far out of line. :)

  2. Judy Says:

    That vine is awesome! It seems to be reaching out for something. I have never seen one like that. Don’t get to near to it. The thing might grab you.
    I hope you find out what it is. It would be interesting to know what it is.

  3. June Says:

    Love the composition of that first shot! Good to see you…

  4. CountryDew Says:

    I looked for it in my flora and fauna book but had no luck, sorry. It is an interesting specimen, though.

  5. Clara Melvin Says:

    That vine has a mind to climb to where ever its inclined. But I don’t know what it is!

  6. Going Crunchy Says:

    I’ll get a few field guides today from the Library and try to see what I can come up with. Love a mystery! Shannon

  7. colleen Says:

    I love your tongue twister. I don’t know what it is either. It reminds me of Jack’s beanstalk.

  8. Jonathan Camere Says:

    Hi,

    I am a web designer for http://www.miamidade.gov. I was looking around for a possible image of a vine that I could use for one of our Green Campaign graphics.

    I ran into this image:

    It’s perfect for what we are doing but I needed to get permission from you. Did you take that photo? and do you have the original file (high resolution of it) If so, I was hoping that you are ok with us using it as an element for a graphic that reflects green energy usage.

    Anyway, I couldn’t find your email so I hope this comment reaches you.

    Thanks!

  9. Brooke Says:

    I have the same vines in my back yard… ever figure out what it is?

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi there, Brooke. No, I never did find out, despite poring over all my plant books for more time than I’d care to admit. The vine is still there, three years later…and ( I’m happy to report) shows no signs of taking over the world. :-) Let me know if you figure out what it is, okay?

  10. Vinesallthetime Says:

    My bet is a Celastrus orbiculatus. Oriental Bittersweet.
    Here is a link, but there are many

    http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/invasivetutorial/Oriental_bittersweet.htm

  11. Mary O Says:

    I have a vine that looks very much like the one in the photo above. Is this one a juicy leaf plant? The one I have is. I’m presently looking for a name to put to my plant. It’s a plant that has been handed out from friend to friend for generations for the healing purpose of whom suffer from canker sours. Chew one petal and instant healing. I been giving out cuttings and wish I had a name to attach. I know it’s not the same plant that as one suggested by Vinesallthetime above. Hummm?

  12. Mary O Says:

    Oh, I’ve just found the name of my plant. It’s called Maderia vine or Anredera cordifolia. Not sure if it’s the same as the plant presented here but looks very much the same.

    • blueridgebluecollargirl Says:

      Hi, Mary. Thank you so much for coming back to tell me the name of your plant! I’ve never been quite sure what ours is, but will now research the Maderia vine to see if that could be it. I’d love to have something natural for canker sores. I really appreciate you letting me know—it was very thoughtful.

      All the best, Beth

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