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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.

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Thursday - August 07, 2008

From: Monroe City, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have discovered a vine growing in my boysenberry patch, perhaps spread by birds, but I can't find it in any books. It has 5 smooth leaves with burgundy, pinkish racemes, much like snap dragon flowers? It reminds me of some flower, but I can't put my finger on it. The vine has crawled all over the boysenberry bushes. Thank you


Here are some possibilities for vines native to Missouri:

Apios americana (groundnut)

Galactia volubilis (downy milkpea)

Vicia americana (American vetch)

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

If it doesn't happen to be one of these, please send us photos and we will do our very best to identify it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read the instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos. Please take closeups of the flowers and of the leaves and the arrangement of the leaves on the stem.

Apios americana

Galactia volubilis

Vicia americana

Wisteria frutescens



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