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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - March 10, 2005

From: Euless, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Ferns
Title: Identification of vine with red flowers, fern-like leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Last year I saw a plant at the State Fair. It had small fern like leaves to it with beautiful little red flowers. It was a vine plant of some sort. They told me that it was native to the Hill Country of Texas. Any ideas what plant this was? Thank you!

ANSWER:

We have come up with four possibilities, none of which matches your description exactly.

1. Trumpet-creeper (Campsis radicans) is a vine native to the Texas Hill Country with large red flowers and fern-like leaves. You can see additional pictures of the trumpet creeper.

2. Scarlet Leatherflower (Clematis texensis) is a vine native to the Texas Hill Country with red flowers but the leaves are not exactly fern-like, unless you're thinking of cliffbrake ferns. There are more images of the Scarlet Leatherflower.

3. Standing Cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) is a native to the Texas Hill Country with red flowers and fern-like, but it is not a vine. There are other photos of Standing Cypress.

4. Cypressvine (Ipomoea quamoclit) is a vine with fern-like leaves and red flowers but it is not native to Texas. It is an introduced species from Mexico and tropical America.
 

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