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

10 year old Wisteria fails to bloom in Rockwall, TX.
May 15, 2013 - I love wisteria. I had four (4) wisteria plants professionally planted at least ten (10) years ago. These wisteria plants have NEVER bloomed. Why not?
view the full question and answer

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
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

Vine for house in partial sun in Vermont
July 27, 2008 - we are looking for a climbing vine against the east side of our house, partial sun but need at least 20 feet tall, in zone 4, vermont
view the full question and answer

Stabilizing a shale slope in Virginia
April 08, 2009 - I have family members who recently built a new home in Virginia. The site required extensive excavation resulting in a large 30 foot, nearly vertical, shale wall behind the house. They now want to r...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center