Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Identification of vine in Pennsylvania
June 11, 2012 - I have several vine plants growing in my deck planters from last season. The leaves are 9 pointed, it looks more like 7, but there are 2 little points at the very bottom of the larger leaves. When t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in New York
May 15, 2012 - I have a flowering vine that grows against my home and I'm not sure what it is, but it's beautiful with a delicate scent. The flowers look like clusters of mini purple pea pods hanging downward befo...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with feathery leaves and deep pink flowers
July 28, 2014 - I have growing up my porch what appears to be a vine with feathery leaves and small deep pink flowers. There is no water sources near by. Can you tell me what it is?
view the full question and answer

E-mailing a picture for Plant ID from Dexter KY
June 25, 2012 - Could I email a picture of a vine that is taking over my porch? Can't seem to find it anywhere. It is dark green and relatively shiny with 10 leaves on each stem.
view the full question and answer

Vines for arbor in North Carolina
September 14, 2008 - Please identify vines that can be used for an arbor that fronts my garage and a portion of the house. Living in Zone 6, the arbor faces southwest. My interest is that the vine be non-invasive because...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.