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The Botanical Society of South Africa
       Kwa Zulu-Natal Coastal Branch

Climbers 2015

You can use climbers to great effect if you want to attract wildlife to an urban garden. Birds covet fruit or nectar from the flowers of different climbers. Several have leaves which caterpillars enjoy. The caterpillars in turn attract more birds. Thick climbers and scramblers provide good nesting sites for birds. The screening and draping qualities of climbers make them essential features of a wild and secluded garden. Plant them close together so that they intertwine, or train them up trees. (Keep them under control if they climb your favourite trees, however.) Bring down old branches or unsightly alien trees by letting a robust climber run rampant over them.


Abrus precatorius

Lucky Bean Creeper

Soft creeper with pink flowers and decorative though toxic red and black seeds

Ancylobotrys petersiana

Climbing Milk-apricot

Scented white flowers, tasty fruit.

Asparagus falcatus

Sickle-leaf Asparagus

Thorny climber, shade, narrow leaves, scented cream flowers, berries for birds

Behnia reticulata

Forest Smilax

Fragile forest climber makes good pot subject for deep shade .

Capparis tomentosa

Woolly Caper Bush

Spiny scrambler, good barrier, decorative fruit and flowers, birds, butterflies

Cissus quadrangularis

Cactus Vine

Interesting square-stemmed succulent climber, hanging baskets, fruit for birds

Clematis brachiata

Traveller's Joy

Soft-stemmed climber in sunny spots. White flowers and cream seeds.

Combretum bracteosum

Hiccup Nut

Scrambler on forest edges, sun, pretty orange sphaerical inflorescences. Birds

Cyphostemma hypoleucum

Double-barrel Vine

Deciduous hairy climber for sun with attractive palmate leaves, grape-like fruits

Dalbergia armata

Thorny Rope

Climber with large spines and small compound leaves, cream flowers. Good bonsai.

Dioscorea dregeana

Wild Yam

Robust climber, sun/semi, decorative leaves

Ipomoea cairica

Common Ipomoea

Fast-growing climber, mauve flowers all year, can smother vegetation

Jasminum angulare

Wild Jasmine

Scrambler, sun/semi, scented white starry flowers, birds

Jasminum multipartitum

Wild Jasmine

Scrambler or shrub, sun/semi, scented white star flowers, black fruits, birds

Lauridia (Cassine) tetragona

Climbing Saffron

Scrambling woody shrub or small tree - attractive toothed leaves

Monanthotaxis caffra

Dwaba Berry

Forest understorey scrambler. Grey-green leaves, unusual orange-red berries

Mondia whitei

White's Ginger

Fast-growing climber in warm areas. Greenish pink flowers. Medicinal usages.

Myrsiphyllum asparagoides

Cape Smilax

Attractive soft leafy climber, grows on forest margins, sun/shade. Good potplant

Podranea ricasoliana

Port St. Johns Creeper

Scrambler for a strong support, beautiful pink trusses

Rhoicissus digitata

Baboon Grape

Attractive narrow-leaved climber for sun; fruit attracts birds

Rhoicissus tomentosa

Common Forest Grape

Attractive-leaved climber for sun; fruit attracts birds.

Sarcostemma viminale

Caustic Vine

Interesting leafless succulent vine grows over trees in dry areas. Cream flowers

Scutia myrtina


Spiny vigorous scrambler, good barrier plant, berries for birds;butterflies

Senecio brachypodus

Dune Climbing Senecio

Herbaceous climber on coastal forest edge, yellow flowers. Attracts butterflies

Senecio macroglossus

Natal Ivy

Attractive 'ivy-leaf' succulent climber, sun/semi-shade, lemon-yellow daisies

Senecio tamoides

Canary Creeper

Pretty semi-deciduous forest-margin climber with bright yellow daisy flowers

Strophanthus petersianus

Sand Forest Poison Rope

Climber or scrambler, sun/semi. Striking cream-brown tendril-tipped bell-flowers

Thunbergia alata

Black Eyed Susan

Self-seeding creeper with profuse bright yellow/orange flowers. Butterflies.