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?