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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 - 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

 


 

 

 

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