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
1 rating

Sunday - September 19, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of vine in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Recently a volunteer vine appeared along a fence line in my yard. It has grown rapidly, has small, vaguely heart-shaped leaves, tendrils to climb with and tiny yellow flowers. As the flower fades a fruit appears which looks like a tiny watermelon. Can you tell me what this vine is? Is it toxic or dangerous? (We have dogs, cats and lots of wildlife.) Is it a nuisance that I should eliminate before it takes over everywhere? I've left it for now, out of curiosity, and thinking it might be edible to some of our raccoons, or the deer. Thank you very much for any ideas you can provide.

ANSWER:

This sounds a lot like Melothria pendula (Guadeloupe cucumber).  These are appearing everywhere right now in Central Texas.  If this isn't the vine you have seen, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.


Melothria pendula


Melothria pendula


Melothria pendula


Melothria pendula

 

 

More Vines Questions

Plant identification of vine with hard brown bulb-shaped fruit
January 19, 2011 - I was given a brown hard bulb-looking ball with rough tiny dots on it and told it comes from a vine that changes to beautiful colors and these balls hang off the vine. A lady in Houston grows them a...
view the full question and answer

Duplicate request for information from Austin
August 30, 2012 - I am considering planting cross vine on a wrought iron fence. Will it cause any damage to the wrought iron or stucco posts?
view the full question and answer

Vines to Complement a Fence
April 10, 2012 - I have a 3' weathered picket fence that I want to plant a flowering vine on part of it. The vine must be perennial, tolerate full sun and low watering. Is there anything besides trumpet, cross vine, ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for seed for Clematis drummondii in Granbury, TX.
November 29, 2010 - I am trying to landscape with native Texas plants. I want a Clematis drummondii and have no idea where to get one. I read it grows readily from seeds, but I cannot locate any. Can you help. Also, ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a vine to grow on limestone pillars.
February 24, 2009 - Could you please suggest a vine which would grow on the limestone pillars at the front of our home near New Braunfels? We would like something that is attractive but does not harm our home. The pill...
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