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

Plant identification
August 13, 2008 - Bought a plant don't know what it is or how to care for it. It looks like it's dying. Description: light to dark green, long, skinny, rounded trunk, surrounded and topped with grass like blades(top ...
view the full question and answer

Submitting photos to assist with an ID
April 17, 2013 - How do I submit images to assist with an ID?
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrubs in Austin neighborhood
September 30, 2013 - I have run across two beautiful bushes in our neighborhood. They have flowering branches that daisy-chain out like a fountain. No one can tell me what they are. They are located in front and on the ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of groundcover in Parker County, TX
June 02, 2013 - I'm trying to identify a native "groundcover" that looks much like frogfruit, as far as the leaves and growth pattern, but has small yellow flowers that look like little lanterns as buds. I know it...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 16, 2009 - We live in a forested area in Rockmart,GA. There is a creek in the woods and a lily type plant that only flowers occasionally. It is white in the center and has thin white spires that jut out from t...
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