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?

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
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

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

Mystery dill-type weed
September 01, 2008 - My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 13, 2008 - We have 105 acres in Mid Michigan. Part of this land is marshland. There is a plant-flower that I have never seen before and no one knows what it is. It is on a long stem with long skinny leaves (2...
view the full question and answer

Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
November 30, 2009 - I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
view the full question and answer

Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
June 13, 2012 - I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
view the full question and answer

Wild native trees with orange blooms
March 30, 2012 - What is the wild native tree that is blooming orange blooms - as you drive down the road thru Chappel Hill, and Brenham area. I've never seen these before when we went viewing bluebonnets - however,...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center