En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of a wild vine in East Texas

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

Friday - December 17, 2010

From: Tyler, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of a wild vine in East Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Trying to identify a wild vine that grow 15-20 feet up our trees. The leaves are dark, glossy green about 2-3" long. The edges are smooth and elongated. Each leaf is placed to the right and then the left of the stem, about 3/4" apart. The root systems are tubers that look a little like sweet potatoes, except there are about 15-20 attached together, making the whole root clump 1-2 feet in diameter.

ANSWER:

The closest match to your description that I could find is Smilax laurifolia (Laurel greenbrier).  It has alternate leaves that look like your description of the leaves and the root structure described by the U. S Forest Service does sound like your description.  You don't, however, mention the large prominent thorns on the vine. Here are more photos and information from Duke University and LSU.

If this doesn't appear to be your vine but your vine is native, you should be able to find it in our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and selecting 'Texas' from Select State or Province and 'Vine' from Habit (general appearance).  Most, but not all, the species have photos.  It is possible that your vine is not a native.  In that case, your best bet is to take photographs and visit our Plant Identification page to find sources for submitting your photos for identification.

 

 

More Vines Questions

Vine recommendations for Central Texas homes
September 02, 2012 - I have hardy plank siding and am looking for a Central Texas native vine that will grow over it. I am trying to keep it from growing under the planks.
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with 4-petaled purple flower
May 30, 2012 - Does anybody know what vine has a purple four petaled flower with small bulb in middle??
view the full question and answer

Growing Grapes in Southern Texas on an Arbor
July 02, 2014 - I've redirected several grape vines (from the top third of a broken oak tree) onto an arbor. The base of the vine is about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Is it feasible to work with (prune) the smaller b...
view the full question and answer

Climbing vines non-damaging to walls in Round Rock, TX
July 07, 2009 - Will fig vine tendrils grow into a stucco wall? Is there any climbing vine that won't damage a stucco wall over time?
view the full question and answer

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center