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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - November 11, 2010

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of purchased vine
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi, I bought a hanging vine plant, and came with no id. The leaves are simple, alternate arrangement, entire margin (smooth edge margin). It has an ashy look, like the green purple sage. The flower is small, bluish with a tiny white center. The flower doesn't have any petals, just one piece.


The only native vine that comes to mind from your description is Matelea reticulata (Green milkweed vine).  It does have leaves with entire margins and a curious-looking flower with a green corolla and a pearl-like white center. 

If this isn't the vine you have, you can search for the identity of your vine yourself by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plants Database and selecting Texas from the Select State or Province option and 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance). This search will give you a list of 140 native vines found in Texas. Most of these have photos for you to compare to your vine.  If they don't have photos on the species page (or if you want to see more photos of a particular plant) you can scroll down the species page to the ADDITIONAL RESOURCES area and click on the Google link to find more information about the plant.  If you click on 'Images' in the side bar or menu at the top of the Google page, you will find photos of the plant in question.

If you don't find your vine in our Native Plant Database, there is a very good chance that the vine is an introduced species.  Given the fact that it is a purchased vine, there is even a better chance that it isn't native.  In that case, you should visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to find several sources where you can submit a photo for identification.

Matelea reticulata

Matelea reticulata

Matelea reticulata


More Vines Questions

Non-native vines poisonous from Bakersfield CA
May 17, 2013 - Are pink bower vines and stars and stripes mandevilla toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Vine for Chain Link Fence in Virginia
March 25, 2015 - I am from Great Falls, Virginia. I would like to know what the best vine is to grow on aluminum fences to cover them up quickly but also doesn't damage expensive fences in a long term?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trumpet creeper in Prairie City, IA
August 22, 2011 - I have a Trumpet Creeper that I would like to transplant. How do you do that?
view the full question and answer

Looking for a supplier for Mustang Grape vine in Austin, TX>
April 02, 2012 - I'm looking for a supplier in Austin that will have a Mustang Grape Vine seed or plant for purchase. I found Natives of Texas in Kerrville, but if you know of a supplier in Austin, that would be pre...
view the full question and answer

Sources for plants from Abingdon MD
August 02, 2012 - What stores or nursuries in Harford County sell already grown Coral honeysuckle, Purple passion flower, trumpet creeper, and crossvine?
view the full question and answer

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