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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - November 11, 2010

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Native vines to cover limestone walls in Austin
April 28, 2008 - We are moving into a house in Austin that has three tiered 5'- 6' retaining walls in the back yard. They are huge and somewhat of an eye sore. We have some cool landscaping ideas to make the most ...
view the full question and answer

Finicky Trumpet Vine in Stockdale Texas
June 06, 2011 - I need help dealing with a very old trumpet vine. It was my grandmothers and she died in 79. It's always been beautiful till 99 when my grandmothers house burned down. It was right behind it. It cam...
view the full question and answer

Vines free from cutter ants from Caldwell TX
November 14, 2012 - What are some climbing vines cutter ants won't eat
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in Tennessee
June 14, 2014 - I have a beautiful vine with clusters approximately 70 feet All the way up a tree in a heavily wooded area. It seems to be evergreen or semi- evergreen. Can you help identify?
view the full question and answer

Vine for trellis in Brooklyn, New York
June 11, 2014 - Hello, I am looking for a native vine to grow on a trellis in a large container. I live in Brooklyn, NY, and the area is in part shade. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

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