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?

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
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 - April 16, 2009

From: Shoreacres, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a vine in my flowerbed that has three leaves and thorns and it looks like poison ivy. How can I tell if it is?

ANSWER:

Toxicodendron radicans (eastern poison ivy) doesn't have thorns, but you may be seeing some of the holdfasts that the vine uses to attach to a tree.  Here are more photos of poison ivy.  I suspect, however, what you have is Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry) or one of the other Rubus spp. which have thorns and a pattern of three leaves.  The other common vine with thorns in Harris County is Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier), but it doesn't have the three-leaf arrangement   If your vine doesn't look like any of these and you would like for us to identify it, please send us photos.  For instructions on submitting photos for identification, visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page. 

 


Toxicodendron radicans

Rubus trivialis

Smilax bona-nox

 


 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Question about dwarf oyster plant, Tradescantia spathacea
June 12, 2009 - I sm looking for Dwarf Oyster plant like the one described about 3-4 inches in height, color green and purple. But the nurseries here in Clearwater FL don't seem to know what I am talking about. S...
view the full question and answer

Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
August 21, 2011 - We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flower...
view the full question and answer

Seed pod of Proboscidea louisianica (Deveil's claw) in New Mexico
August 30, 2014 - I found the most amazing seed pods of the devil's claw right here in Albuquerque. I thought it was a wood skeleton of a pterodactyl (flying dinosaur, I believe), but heard it's a devil's claw. Ok...
view the full question and answer

Differentiating between Spiraea betulifolia and Spiraea japonica
April 12, 2005 - How can I tell the difference between Spiraea betulifolia var. corymbosa (an imperiled species) and Spiraea japonica (an invasive species) in the wild? They both seem to be the same size, color, habi...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
August 22, 2005 - On your home website there is an orange flower that is tall and has tall leaves. is it a cactus? Thanks.
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center