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?


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 - July 07, 2008

From: DFW, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of prickly vine in north Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


While trimming the shrubs around my suburban house I noticed (and my legs were torn up by!) a vine-like plant with small green serrated leaves and millions of small, very sharp thorns. I search Invasive Vines in the Q&A and Devils Club was the closest I found but the leaves of the devils club are to big and the vine in my yard doesn't have blooms. Any thoughts?


Your description sounds like Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry). it does have nasty spines, but it also produces wonderful berries that are delicious to eat or make into pies or jams.  The berrie should have been ripe in early to mid-June.

Other possibilities are one of the greenbriers, either Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier) or Smilax tamnoides (bristly greenbrier) with more info and photos, but neither of them have serrated leaves.

Rubus trivialis

Rubus trivialis

Rubus trivialis

Rubus trivialis





More Vines Questions

Plant identification of vine with purple fruit
September 21, 2008 - Illinois: I have a vine, red stems purple fruit with grape like clusters (sweet.hope it wasn't poisonous)What is it?
view the full question and answer

Vine for limited space, part-shade fence in N. Texas
June 14, 2009 - I have a narrow strip of yard (about 3ft) between my covered patio and privacy fence. Since the fence itself lacks visual interest, I'd like to find a vine to grow on the fence to give the backgroun...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a moist, wooded area in North Carolina
December 06, 2014 - I am looking to plant some native flowers in a wooded area in Surry County NC. The chosen location is fully shaded beside a creek. The water table typically sets about 2 feet below the surface of th...
view the full question and answer

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center