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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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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!

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Monday - August 31, 2009

From: Haverhill, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of vine growing near river in New Hampshire
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a small vine growing near a river in NH. It has five point leaflets similar to sumac but much smaller. The flowers were pink with a deep purple/burgundy on the inside. The flowers are in cluster that almost looks like cocks comb or a morrel mushroom in shape. The plant looks like dodder but has leaves.

ANSWER:

One vine native to New Hampshire with leaves similar to the ones you describe and with pink flowers is Adlumia fungosa, Allegheny vine, but otherwise it doesn't really look like your description.  Here is another set of photos,  Another somewhat remote possibility is Securigera varia, crownvetch, a European native that is considered invasive in many areas of North America.  I think it is highly likely that neither of these is the plant you saw—so, if you have (or can get) photographs, please send them to us and we will do our very best to identify your vine.  To read the instructions for submitting photos, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.
 

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