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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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

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Tuesday - June 02, 2009

From: molino, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Identity of a thorny vine in Florida
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Area: panhandle of FL Problem: thorny vine with large potato like roots, rapid growing and very invasive. grows in summer time. thanks


Identifying plants from a description can be difficult if not impossible ,but Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this could be  cat briar Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier) which is distributed across the Southeastern US, or one of its siblings in the genus Smilax.

We're going to try a two step approach: first, I've found some websites with descriptions and images of this plant. Check these out to see if your plant resembles any of the images.

University of Vermont

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Google Images

The second step is for you to visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants  Plant Identification page to read instructions for taking and submitting photos of your plant for identification. 



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