En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 05, 2010

From: Villa Park, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

Here are three native vines that are possibilities:

Marah fabaceus (California manroot) and here are more photos showing the spiny fruit.

Marah oreganus (coastal manroot) and here are photos showing the spiny fruit.

Funastrum cynanchoides ssp. heterophyllum (Hartweg's twinevine) and here are photos.

Here is one invasive European native that is also a possibilitiy:

Cynanchum louiseae (Black dog-strangling vine, black swallowwart) and you see its distribution in California on the USDA Plants Database map.

If none of these is the vine that you saw and you have photos or can take photos of it, please send them to us and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.



 

 

More Vines Questions

Plants for a children's playground
April 20, 2015 - We have extensive native gardens on our 2 acre property, but my children want a garden of their own with plants they can hide under and that are good for imaginative play. Are there any native plants...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Report on object glowing in tree in New Hampshire
August 04, 2013 - Hello again Mr Smartpants. I commented about a purple glow coming from a tree in previous comments. Since then they have multiplied and are spreading to different trees. We believe we may have it narr...
view the full question and answer

Are vines harmful to bricks and mortar?
July 09, 2010 - I am really fond of native vines such as crossvine, coral honeysuckle, American wisteria and carolina jessamine. I love the look of vines on walls and I would like to add this to a landscape design. ...
view the full question and answer

Mystery berries on vine in Montgomery County, TX
August 09, 2013 - While out in the woods today on Caney Creek near Grangerland, Texas, I found what I thought to be some grapes on a vine hanging down from a tree. I brought the vine down, but when I got it home to pr...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center