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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

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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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.

 
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Tuesday - June 09, 2009

From: Valdosta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: What is the fast-growing vine with white flowers growing in my yard? Field bindweed perhaps.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We moved into an existing home with some plants growing that grow very quickly, 1ft. per week, they flower a white to cream colored bloom and when the bloom falls it leaves a olive looking ball. In the later part of the 7th month during the hottest part of the day these balls burst and a hard seed cracks apart and goes everywhere. I have looked through all plant identifiers but can't find out what it is. Please help. Thanks, Mark

ANSWER:

To Mr. Smarty Plants, this sounds like field bindweed AKA Convolvulus arvensis , a viny perennial with an extensive system of deep creeping roots and rhizomes. It was introduced into the US from Europe, and is considered one of the most noxious weeds of agricultural fields throughout temperate regions of the world. Click on this link and compare the images with your plant to confirm this identification (View Google Images).

If you have bindweed, go to this previous question for information about the biology and control of this pernicious pest.

Two additional sources of information are the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives ot Pesticides and the iVillage Garden Web which has an interesting forum on the control of bindweed.

If you don't have bindweed, I'm going to suggest that you visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants  Plant Identification page to find instructions for taking and submitting photos of your plant that would aid us in identifying it.

 

 


 

 

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