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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

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.

 

 


 

 

More Vines Questions

Full Sun, Wind-Tolerant Shrubs and Vines for Steep MN Hillside
June 26, 2013 - My neighbor and I share a very steep, large (in total almost 200 ft. wide) west-facing hillside in Excelsior, MN on Lake Minnetonka. We both have a flat grass area at the bottom so the hillside does n...
view the full question and answer

Vines for arbor in North Carolina
September 14, 2008 - Please identify vines that can be used for an arbor that fronts my garage and a portion of the house. Living in Zone 6, the arbor faces southwest. My interest is that the vine be non-invasive because...
view the full question and answer

Ripe fruit of Melothria pendula (Guadaloupe cucumber)
July 22, 2014 - I see the pictures of the guadualupe cucumber plant. The fruit is still green. When it matures does it look like a small tomato? I have noticed the vine when the fruit is ripe. This is in McLennan C...
view the full question and answer

Vine for complete shade in California
December 21, 2012 - I'm looking for a vine to put over my back door which is in complete shade.
view the full question and answer

Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
September 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 4...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center