Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - April 04, 2014

From: Burton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Vine with wine-colored flowers in Washington County, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I'm trying to identify a deep purple wine colored flowering vine in Washington County, Texas. It looks very similar to Texas wisteria, but it is something else. I've seen them growing in vineyards at the ends of rows of the grape plants.

ANSWER:

It is usually very difficult to identify plants based on short, written descriptions.  This identification is no exception.  A couple of native possibilities that come to mind are Wisteria frutescens and Clematis pitcheri.  

If neither of these species are your mystery plant, you might try doing a combination search in the NPIN Plants Database.  Select Texas in the "Select State or Province" box and select Vine in the "Habit (general appearance)" box.  Then click on the "Submit combination Search" button.  The search will yield about 162 possibilities, but you can scroll through them fairly quickly and perhaps find the ID you seek.

If you don't find the plant you're looking for there, your mystery plant is likely a non-native species.  In that case, we recommend sending a plant ID request to the UBC Forums for potential identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


American wisteria
Wisteria frutescens

Purple leatherflower
Clematis pitcheri

More Plant Identification Questions

Lycopodium digitatum for Christmas wreaths
December 21, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, That's it! The plant "Lycopodium Digitatum" posted on your website on Dec. 20, 2008 in response to my question about the proper name of "Crow's Feet" is indeed the pla...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 04, 2010 - Please identify this tree: has leaves like a catalpa, blue/lavender flowers on a long flower spike at the end of the limb, green fruit/seed about the size of a pecan it is fuzzy like a peach with a h...
view the full question and answer

Identification of oak trees in Pennsylvania
October 14, 2013 - I am an avid hunter in PA. I found these nuts and was wondering what kind they are. There is a red oak beside this tree, and I know what a white oak is but this tree and it's nuts look to be from a...
view the full question and answer

Identity of ball-shaped purple flower in Connecticut
July 13, 2015 - I am trying to identify a ball shaped purple/light purple flower with opposite leaves that look fern like. It has been in bloom since late May or early June. I have found it growing with what appear...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.