Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - August 07, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of Indian Cane
June 18, 2011 - I live in southern Alabama. We have a plant that is wild but I can not find any info on it. My grandmother called it Indian Cane. The stems are red and you can chew them, they have a sour taste
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 06, 2011 - I'm trying to figure out the name of a plant/shrub purchased a couple years ago. It was a shrub (about medium sized) with yellow blooms that smelled like lemon. I don't think it was lemon balm or le...
view the full question and answer

Taxonomic question about Viola missouriensis and Viola affinis.
March 28, 2011 - I have tentatively identified a violet as either Viola affinis or V. missouriensis. However, the pages for those species are dated 2007 and 2009, respectively, in the NPIN, while it read...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for plant near Lake Tahoe
June 07, 2012 - Looking to figure out what this plant is: grows along water ways, moist areas in Lake Tahoe. Looks tropical. Only seen small versions of it but it looks like miniature bamboo with a softer stem and br...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.