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

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 Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
April 01, 2009 - I have small shiny red berries growing on a tropical appearing shrub with green and marled yellow leaves. The leaves have widely serrated edges. The berries have a large seed inside and very little fl...
view the full question and answer

ID of odd woodland plant in PA?
July 20, 2009 - Found in the woods in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is about 8 inches tall and were found in clusters of 3 to 10. They are clear. with pink and black tops. Similar to a flower, but snaps like a fungus. ...
view the full question and answer

Possible identification of native white buddlejas in Austin
July 18, 2007 - I am desperately trying to identify a plant. It looks perennial, is in full sun, is about 7 ft. tall, bloomed white blossoms (similar in form to buddleia) in June, which have now changed from rose-co...
view the full question and answer

Is there an App for that?
June 05, 2012 - Do you have an app like leafsnap that my students can use to identify the plants around our school? I would like them to take a picture of the leaf of each plant with their iPads and have your data b...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 03, 2008 - 6 2 ft. spikes appeared in an infertile part of my garden. They have a huge quantity of very tiny ochid-like flowers, mostly white with pink tinge. I took it to the master gardeners here and no one co...
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