En Español

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

Monday - June 16, 2008

From: Columbiana, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Identifying vine in Alabama
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a vine growing on my fence and I need help identifying it. The leaves are a large and medium green oval shaped and along the vine there are clusters of tiny(really tiny) flowers.They are a pale green star shaped with a dark blue center. Can you help me?

ANSWER:

First, the good news, it's not kudzu. The bad news is that we honestly can't figure out what it is. We went to our Native Plant Database, and searched on Alabama and vine (Habit). This gave us 74 possibilities, so we passed on that, and tried searching on Alabama, vine, and blue or green for bloom color. This gave us 25 choices. Of these, some had the right flower, but the wrong leaf shape, etc. but three that were at least possibilities.

Cocculus carolinus (Carolina coralbead)

Galium aparine (stickywilly)

Smilax herbacea (smooth carrionflower) - this one came closest to your description, but if that is what it is, it's a Smilax, a rather invasive, thorny vine, and the flowers smell terrible in order to attract flies, the pollinator for this plant. Get rid of it.

If it is none of the above, and/or you can't find it by doing the long search that we tried first, look on the Mr. Smarty Plants page and, under Plant Identification in the lower right hand portion of the page, you'll find instructions for sending us a picture. We'll get some of our plant id experts to take a look at it. It could be a non-native, of course, not in our Native Plant Database, and you certainly want to establish whether or not it's invasive before you encourage it to grow on your fence.


Cocculus carolinus

Galium aparine

Smilax herbacea

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

I need an evergreen vine to hide an ugly fence.
February 24, 2009 - I am looking to find a vine that will be on my south facing fence. I would like it to be evergreen as to hide my ugly fence.
view the full question and answer

No Grapes on Vines in Sonora, CA
May 31, 2011 - We have lived in our home since 2002 and have a grapevine that grows beautiful green lush leaves and vines every year but never has produced grapes. What can I do to get some grapes on this vine?
view the full question and answer

Will Hyacinth Beans and Cardinal vine (non-natives) grow in Texas?
April 28, 2007 - I live in Coppell, TX, and a neighbor gave me some Hyacinith Beans and Cardinal Vine seeds to plant. She described these as doing well in her local garden, but I cannot find a photo or picture of them...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for wall in Pasadena CA
May 16, 2010 - Hi, I am looking for an evergreen vine to cover my block wall. I saw star jasmine kept really flowing and wild and loved it but I don't like the way it will look when It blooms. I want a vine that ...
view the full question and answer

Seed planting of Crossvine from Orlando FL
September 12, 2011 - Seed planting of Bignonia capreolata - Tangerine Beauty. I have seed pods. Do I plant how deep and should I put in a plastic bag with a wet papertowel in the refrigerator and let it sprout? ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center