How to Identify a Flowering Vine


Flowering vines add beauty and privacy to yards, fences and patios. Most need support such as an arbor or trellis, while a few attach themselves to buildings through tiny rootlets and discs. Climbing jasmine attaches itself to other plants for support. Some vines become very heavy or can damage masonry and wood, so research vines before planting to ensure you have adequate support for them.

Step 1

Watch the flowering vine for more than one season. Most vines are perennials and come back year after year, but moon flower, morning glory, bittersweet and morning glory are annuals. They may self-seed, but the new plants will probably not grow in exactly the same place they grew the previous year.

Step 2

Inspect the vine to find the method it uses to attach itself to structures. Wisteria, honeysuckle and bittersweet twine around the support; clematis and passion flower spout tendrils that wrap around supports; trumpet vines and hydrangea cling by aerial rootlets.

Step 3

Smell the flowers of the vine. Honeysuckle, passion flower, jasmine and wisteria are known for their fragrance.

Step 4

Inspect the flowers. Clematis, jasmine, morning glory and moonflower have large showy flowers. Honeysuckle, hydrangea, jasmine and wisteria have clusters of flowers. Trumpet vines have distinctive trumpet-shaped blooms.


  • "The Garden Primer"; Barbara Damrosch; 1988
  • University of Florida Extension Office: Flowering Vines for Florida

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University Extension Service: Annual Flowering Vines
Keywords: identify flowering vines, flowering vines, growing flowering vines

About this Author

Julie Christensen has been writing for five years. Her work has appeared in "The Friend" and "Western New York Parent" magazines. Her guide for teachers, "Helping Young Children Cope with Grief" will be published this spring. Christensen studied early childhood education at Ricks College and recently returned to school to complete a degree in communications/English.