What is native vine that would be attractive to hummingbirds and pollinators?


We are looking for a native vine that will grow on a trellis and be attractive to hummingbirds and pollinators. Most of the native vines we have seen have white flowers and therefore won’t help the hummingbirds. Early season bloom when food is scarce is ideal but any suggestions for anything suitable that would replace the current non-native and unhealthy vine would be appreciated.


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional

Maine’s own Wild Seed Project maintains a nice page on native and “native-adjacent” climbing species. Unfortunately, our best native candidates tend to have white or very pale pink flowers, with the exception of Ground-nut (Apios americana)–it’s flowers are brownish-pink to brownish, and while it’s a great little plant and I’m finding some anecdotal reports of hummingbirds visiting it, I can’t guarantee it will be a favorite draw. If you are willing to consider nonnative species that are native in neighboring states and that are not environmentally problematic, I’m liking the Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) from the Wild Seed Project’s list. You can read more about the plant here. It leafs out early, has lovely red tubular flowers, and begins to bloom in late May. You could also consider the Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), which hummingbirds do like very much, but take seriously the caution that it can be a bully spreader in the garden. Read more about it here.

Happy gardening.