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?


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
3 ratings

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

Discover Life

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. 



More Vines Questions

Passiflora incarnata 'Alba' cultivar or hybrid from Birmingham AL
January 13, 2014 - Is Passiflora incarnata 'Alba' a cultivar or a hybrid?
view the full question and answer

Vine with edible nut in Chattooga County, Georgia
March 01, 2011 - From an email to this Master Gardener- The lady said when she was young her grandmother had a vine that grew along ground that produced small edible nut. As kids they called them chew-chews. Any idea ...
view the full question and answer

Non-blossoming trumpet vine
November 05, 2007 - About 9 years ago I started a trumpet vine, from seeds that I got from plants that were invading an empty home. I saw how invasive it was. It had worked its way into the windows and front porch and ...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Vine for California
July 24, 2013 - What can I plant to cover a retaining wall in Redwood City, CA that will grow down on it (no dirt below) that deer will not eat? I have just about given up. I have tried jasmine and Gelsemium and regu...
view the full question and answer

Growing native vines in pots from Houston
May 28, 2012 - I am writing in regards to your often mentioned issue of plants not doing as well in pots and in the ground. After last years drought, i moved all the plants I had that were in danger of dying of t...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center