En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Identity of milkweed vine with smooth seedpod
November 23, 2012 - I believe the vine I am curious about may be Matelea reticulata. However, most of the pictures I have seen of that vine show bumps on the exterior of the seed pod, and the pod I have is green and smo...
view the full question and answer

Vine to cover fence from Haverhill MA
April 17, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a fast growing vine to cover a chain link fence. The area is sunny half of the day. I have 2 small children so I don't want something that attracts bees or could be dangerous ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with purple passion flower from DeKalb TX
March 27, 2011 - Yes my purple passion plant, is pretty but there is a piece of it that's all limp, what do I need to do to revive it?
view the full question and answer

Need plants to cover a fence and retaining wall combination
January 27, 2010 - Recently we replaced our fence and I need help with plants to mask an 18 foot section of fence/retaining wall. The fence guy set the fence back about 10 inches from the top of the retaining wall which...
view the full question and answer

Discouraging Poison Ivy
June 27, 2015 - Is there a fern that discourages poison ivy from growing?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center