Native Planting Tips | New
Beach walks have so many advantages; you can exercise, clear your mind, and inspire you. The sight of glassy waters can calm and open your mind to new ideas, but don’t forget to take a peek towards the dunes as well. The special plants that live on the dunes can be a great inspiration for sustainable and native landscaping.
Railroad vine is an eye-catching dune plant that seems to follow you as you walk on the beach. Its growing stems, with leaves shaped like goat’s hoofs, can reach up to 100 feet through sand. The roots of the railway vine, along with those of other beach plants, hold the dunes in place despite the attraction of wind and waves. True to its last name, this morning glory parent blooms magenta, trumpet-shaped blossoms from sunrise to noon before closing in the afternoon heat.
Since railroad grapevine naturally lives on beach dunes, it is adapted to many harsh conditions. This native plant is used to scorching sun, seasonal drought, nutrient poor sands and salt spray. Such characteristics make the railroad vine an excellent choice for sustainable landscapes, especially along the coast, which minimize the use of irrigation water and fertilizer.
Properties with long open spaces can count on the Railroad Vine to quickly fill in the gaps. However, its determined paths can be redirected by hand or pruned if necessary. Despite its towering tendencies, the railroad vine pairs well with other coastal plants, such as sea oats and dune sunflower.
Are you inspired to try the railroad vine in your garden? Visit Plantrealflorida.org to find a native plant nursery near you. Learn more about railroad grapevine and other native Florida plants at FNPS.org. Connect with the Naples Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society at FNPSNaples.org or [email protected]