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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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

 

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