Mountain Fringe In My New Garden: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Can you name a biennial vine native to North America? (Great trivia question!)If you read the words above, you know the answer is mountain fringe (Adlumia fungosa), more commonly known as Allegheny vine–but that’s not as poetic. I first discovered mountain fringe growing in moist, shady spots in my former garden. As I mentioned in my previous post on this pretty and unusual plant, I’ve never been able to grow it from seed. I just have to wait for it to show up.

Allegheny vine climbing lilac

Seeds to this vine came in with the ‘Concord Grape’ spiderwort from the old garden that I transplanted under this lilac.

This vine was meant to climb up shrubs. It looks like it belongs in the lilac pictured above. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that birds eat the seeds and “plant” them under the shrubs they perch in. But that’s just a hypothesis on my part; don’t quote me.
Allegheny vine sprawling in front

Without a sturdy shrub to climb, this vine went horizontal throughout the entire length of a front bed.

Without a shrub to climb, mountain fringe weaves itself up through the nearest plants and then scrambles over the tops of them, searching for something that will take it up. The vine that showed up in the Front Walk South bed managed to take down the wind chimes hanging on a shepherd’s crook and wrestled a belladonna delphinium to a horizontal position. Yet it looks like such a delicate thing.

Truthfully, these two vines are the most vigorous I’ve ever seen. I should have cut the vine back when I saw it going for the delphinium, but I just didn’t get to it in time. And when you know it’s a biennial, that this is its one season of glory and it will be dead at the end of the year, it’s easy to be indulgent and let it have its way.

Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

Eli August 6, 2014, 6:00 am

I had never heard of this vine either! It looks good though. I will have to look out for it, thank you.

Gabriel T. August 2, 2014, 8:34 am

The vine looks good though. Do you know if there are any other Adlumia species with different flower coloration ?

Kathy Purdy August 2, 2014, 12:38 pm

As far as I know, Adlumia is a single species genus. Pale pink is the only color I’ve ever seen.

Gabriel T. August 3, 2014, 8:21 am

Oh ok, thanks for the info !

Frank August 1, 2014, 11:51 pm

That’s a cool little plant that’s new to me. It looks a bit like a climbing bleeding heart, and I wouldn’t mind if it showed up here…. although I think it would like a bit more moisture than I could supply!

Kathy Purdy August 2, 2014, 12:39 pm

It does look like a climbing bleeding heart. I bet it would grow for you where hostas grow.

Donna@GardensEyeView July 30, 2014, 5:12 pm

Kathy I am looking for a native vine that flowers white so i will definitely look this one up!

Kathy Purdy July 30, 2014, 6:17 pm

Donna, the flowers are a pale pink, not white.

Dartmouth Landscaping July 30, 2014, 10:01 am

Lots of great information in your blog thank you for sharing.

Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern July 28, 2014, 10:36 am

I did not know about this vine! I am partial to vines. I will have to look for it and grow it through a shrub or up a tree! Thanks.

Deborah Banks July 28, 2014, 7:33 am

Coincidentally I planted the little one you gave me at the base of a lilac also. It’s in almost full shade and thriving. It has climbed almost to the top of the 6′ lilac this year, and has been blooming for weeks.

LESLIE SHIELDS July 27, 2014, 9:53 am

For me it seeds itself SOOOO prolifically it could cover anything. A serious job of culling seedlings