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?


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
1 rating

Sunday - September 19, 2010

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


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.


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

Identifying vine in Alabama
June 16, 2008 - I have a vine growing on my fence and I need help identifying it. The leaves are a large and medium green oval shaped and along the vine there are clusters of tiny(really tiny) flowers.They are a pale...
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

Invasive vines in azaleas in South Carolina
July 07, 2008 - I have saw briars and wild jasmine, and cow itch vine that has invaded my azaleas, and would like your input on how to get rid of them without completely destroying my azaleas. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Safe to plant Wisteria frutescens near a foundation?
July 01, 2015 - I am interested in planting a Wisteria frutescens 'Nivea'. It will be next to a house foundation wall. Could you tell me what type of root system it has? Would it be a root that would dama...
view the full question and answer

How to propagate Scarlet leatherflower (Clematis texensis)
May 25, 2015 - How do you collect seeds for the scarlet leatherflower? I saw your answer on how to grow from seeds but I'm not sure how to collect the seeds. Also is it possible to grow the scarlet leatherflower...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center