En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of vine in California

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

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

Flowering vine for trellis behind fountain in Anaheim Hills CA
June 05, 2010 - We are looking for a flowering vine to plant on a trellis surrounding a water fountain. The fountain splashes leaving the soil constantly wet. We have tried numerous vines, but they all die due to t...
view the full question and answer

What is wrong with my cross vine (Bignonia capreolata?
March 08, 2009 - I have a crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) that has grown and bloomed beautifully for about 7 years. Then last year the bloom was significantly less and the bottom growth almost nonexistant. The leaves ...
view the full question and answer

Locating yellow crossvine
April 20, 2006 - I am attempting to find a yellow crossvine. I am not having much luck. I thought I saw some growing in the Taylor area, but I cannot locate it now. In my memory, the flowers had brown dots on them.
view the full question and answer

Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
August 14, 2013 - I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black...
view the full question and answer

Vine for trellis in California
August 15, 2008 - What type of climbing flower/plant would grow best on a trellis in an alcove that receives morning sun from a south eastern direction? I live in San Luis Obispo, CA. I have had good luck with jasmine ...
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