Native Climbing Plants in Arizona

There are few vines native to Arizona.
There are few vines native to Arizona. (Image: arizona desert image by John Keith from <a href=''></a>)

Arizona's primarily desert climate yields dry, hot days and cold nights. Arizona has two monsoon seasons, one in mid-winter and one in early summer. After these points rain may not fall for months. Since most vine plants are dependent on water for fast growth, vines are not a popular choice in xeriscapes. There are few vines native to the region and a large portion of vines used in Arizona gardens have been brought over from China.

Yellow Morning Glory, Merremia aurea

Yellow morning glories are a drought resistant vine that will curl around objects placed near it and grow upward, with an average 15 feet in length. They can be placed in full sun during the summer months and will regrow if they die. Yellow morning glories attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The blooms are two to four inches in diameter and will open in the morning and close in the late afternoon.

Trumpet Vine, Campsis radicans

Trumpet vines are fast growing, reaching up to 40 feet long. They are a woody evergreen vine. The blooms are red, orange or yellow trumpet-shaped flowers and are produced in late spring to mid-summer. These vines will grow faster with more water, so it is recommended they are only given a moderate amount.

Southwestern Pipevine, Aristolochia watsonii

This perennial vine will climb or trail along the ground. These plants have long been used by Arizona natives for a variety of ailments but contain dangerous toxins. The vine will attract pipevine swallowtails, whose caterpillars will ingest the plant's toxins for protection against predators. The plant emits a bad odor which attracts flies for pollination.

Climbing Wartclub, Boerhavia scandens

Climbing wartclub is a perennial vine that is naturally found in shady areas of the desert. It produces pale green or pale yellow flowers in small clusters from early spring to late fall. This vine may become tangled up in other plants it is near.

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