En Español

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

Tuesday - November 30, 2010

From: Newton, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have had a plant for 37 years! It is a vine with leaves that grow in groups of three and they typically have 5 points. The leaves are dark green and shiny. I would love to know what this old friend is. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

The first vine that comes to mind from your description of dark green shiny leaves with five points is Hedera helix (English ivy), a non-native, aggressively invasive plant.  However, plants are difficult, if not impossible, to identify by description alone.  Your vine may be a native one.  If it is a native vine, you can search for it in our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and choosing Massachusetts from the Select State or Province option and then selecting 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance).  This will give you more than 50 vines that are native to Massachusetts.  Most of them have photographs for you to examine.  If you don't find it there, your best bet is to take photos of your vine and submit them to one of the plant identification forums we have listed on our Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Shrub with red two-globed berries
June 15, 2012 - I am looking for the name of a red berry with 2 globes attached to each other on a plant with small soft oval shaped leaves.I live in Maryland and they are maturing now. These bushes are in the park ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Cryptomeria japonica for homeowners association
May 09, 2007 - Good morning. We are wondering if Cryptomeria japonica trees can fit under the term "pine like". We used the term pine like when asking for our home owners associations approval and we put in a Cr...
view the full question and answer

Picture in newspaper from Austin
June 02, 2012 - Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Identification of flower that looks like Callirhoe in NC
June 12, 2012 - Have a flower similar to callirhoe, but the blossum is fuchia, not purple and the foliage is light sage in color and fuzzy. It is very invasive. What is it? If you have an email address, I can send...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 17, 2009 - I am trying to identify a plant in Crocket County Texas. It looks similar to a small thistle. It has purple thorny bulbs on it, the stem and leaves also are thorny.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center