Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - September 02, 2009

From: Ballinger, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Identity of a vine in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a native vine in Runnels County, Texas. It is approximately 20 feet long, growing on a fence. The leaves are simple leaves, range in size from 1/2 " to 2" and thick (similar to the thickness of a kalanchoe). The are shaped similar to a red oak and alternate on the stem. The flowers are small, green round buds similar to a poinsettia flower. The berries are black and fleshy and very popular with birds. Can you help me? Thank you.

ANSWER:

From your description, the closest match is Cissus trifoliata (sorrelvine).  It has fleshy leaves and black berries.  Here are photos showing the flowers. (Note:  Cissus incisa is a synonym of C. trifoliata).  If this isn't the vine you saw and you have (or can take) photos, please send them to us and we will do our best to identify your vine.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instruction for submitting photos.

 


Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

Cissus trifoliata

 

 

More Vines Questions

Smarty Plants on wisteria
October 15, 2005 - A friend has a wisteria bush in his yard that was planted around 1950 by his mother. It has yellow blossoms. He has been told many times by people passing by (they stop to look at the plant) that the...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing native Celastrus scandens from non-native C. Orbiculatus from Lexington MA
June 08, 2014 - Dear Mr. Plants, I maintain a wildflower garden with the Lexington Field and Garden Club in Lexington, Massachusetts. Every year, I pull up sprouts of Celastris orbiulatis. I want to plan...
view the full question and answer

What is the green pod on a trumpet vine
October 23, 2010 - I have a Trumpet Vine that bloomed for the first time this year. After the bloom season, I noticed a single pod hanging on the vine about the size of a large green bean. What is the purpose of this ...
view the full question and answer

California Vine for Privacy Screening
November 06, 2014 - I have a two story house going up behind my back yard. I would like to plant a climbing vine with non-invasive roots to provide privacy. I live in Los Angeles and the trellis would receive almost full...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.