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 - 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

Identification of vine in Pennsylvania
June 11, 2012 - I have several vine plants growing in my deck planters from last season. The leaves are 9 pointed, it looks more like 7, but there are 2 little points at the very bottom of the larger leaves. When t...
view the full question and answer

What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
November 20, 2011 - Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying...
view the full question and answer

How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
May 01, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for Ohio with common name beginning with U, X or Z
October 13, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, Are there any plants native to Ohio or the Northeast that have common names starting with the letter "U" "X" or "Z"? I'm sewing a cross-stitch sampler using the alphabet ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 22, 2010 - I live in Austin. Texas. My garden has been lying fallow for several seasons and earlier this week I started clearing the weeds and wild flowers in hopes of getting our vegetable garden started again...
view the full question and answer

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