En Español

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

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

Tuesday - March 03, 2009

From: Greeneville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of vine with dangling fruit
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in a hollow with rolling hills all around. there are wild grape vines, wild cherry trees, walnut trees, rasberry canes, black berry canes, a persimmon tree,(the asgtringent kind), maples, hicory trees, wild roses and the small pink ones that climb. Now that you are familiar with my soil and climate I will ask my question. Growing around my concord grape vines that I planted is a thin delicate vine with fruit that looks like eggplant. The leaves are shaped like the concord grape vine leaves. The fruit does not hang in clusters. It dangles individually on a hair like stand attached to the vine. It was sweet and the skin was like that of a muscadine in texture and the inside was like that of a grape with one or two seeds inside. What is it?


You can actually search for your vine yourself in our Native Plant Database by choosing 'Tennessee' from the Select State or Province category under COMBINATION SEARCH and then selecting 'Vine' from the Habit (general appearance) category.  This will give you 68 different vines native to Tennessee.  Most of the entries have photographs. Looking through the possibilities, here is my suggestion for what your vine might be:

Melothria pendula (Guadeloupe cucumber)

You can see more information and photographs from Vanderbilt University and 2bnTheWild.com.  The fruit turns black as it matures.

If this doesn't happen to be the vine you described and you have (or can get) photos, please send them to us and we will do our best to identify it.  Please see the instructions for submitting photos on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

Melothria pendula



More Vines Questions

Eliminating a briar vine in American holly
July 22, 2011 - I have a wild vine (I was told it is a type of briar) living on my place. The root nest is like a potato. I have dug them up, I have sprayed them and I still am plagued with them. I have a beautiful A...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with red berries in Weatherford, Texas
October 17, 2014 - I have found a vine with red berries that I would appreciate an ID for. How can I send you a photo or two of it?
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of Campsis radicans in Elkins WV
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in a very cool climate of West Virginia, in the mountains, and it seems impossible for our Campsis radicans vines to flower! Perhaps the growing season is too short? W...
view the full question and answer

Vines for a backyard pergola not toxic to dogs and cats
April 26, 2015 - We have just built a pergola in out backyard and are wanting a vine to grow up and around the posts. We have 3 dogs and also have a cat that loves to go outside. We are really looking for something th...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Tournefortia volubilis
December 07, 2012 - I am a State Park Host at Estero Llano Grande SP in Weslaco, TX and am looking for information on the Tournefortia volubilis, Googly-eyed vine. I would like to know if there is a best method for propa...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center