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

Purchase source of Coral honeysuckle from New Boston TX
April 21, 2012 - I have been unable to find a supplier in the listings on your website for Lonicera Sempervirens. Many of them had a variety of different plants listed under this name but none were the 20' species. ...
view the full question and answer

Vine for complete shade in California
December 21, 2012 - I'm looking for a vine to put over my back door which is in complete shade.
view the full question and answer

Native Vines for Coleman County, TX
December 19, 2013 - Do you have a list of native vines for Coleman County, TX. Thank You for your help
view the full question and answer

What color should I paint a gazebo for vines in Arizona?
January 29, 2014 - I have a two questions. I have a dome shaped metal gazebo that I want a vine to grow up the 4 columns and cover the top. I live in Tempe, AZ which is hugely hot in summer. The gazebo is black right ...
view the full question and answer

When to prune Texas Coral Honeysuckle in Iredell, TX?
January 31, 2012 - When can I prune Texas coral honeysuckle? It needs to be pruned so that it will fill out. Also, how much do I prune it? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center