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

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



More Plant Identification Questions

Tree that looks like cedar elm but with smooth bark
August 09, 2014 - What tree looks like a cedar elm, but has smooth bark?
view the full question and answer

Need help identifying a plant with lupine-like leaves in La Grange Park, IL
May 20, 2010 - I encountered a plant on a level area just above a creek bed (moist soil, sun to partial sun) at one of the three largest grasslands in Illinois. The specific site looked like it may have been a burn ...
view the full question and answer

Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014 - Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Matelea reticulata
June 08, 2007 - I recently saw blooming in an Austin park a small white-green flower ( 3/4 ") with a center that looked like a small pearl. Any idea what it is. I can't find it in my flower book, It was on a waist...
view the full question and answer

Do monarchs like Cynachum laeve in Austin, TX?
May 29, 2012 - I have found what I believe is Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve) growing in my yard here in Austin. I tried using the LBJWC plant data base and could not find it. I also found the plant with a diff...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center