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
1 rating

Wednesday - July 06, 2011

From: Denham Springs, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vine in Louisiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have two vines in my backyard. I've looked at pictures of each and they both keep coming up "virginia creeper." However, both are different. Neither causes an allergic reaction. One has leaflets of threes and fives. The leaves are serrated. The stem is woody and often red and has small rootlike tendrils all along it. In fall it turns red. The other vine has serrated leaflets of fives and sevens. Its stem is soft and green with long curly tendrils. The leaves stay green all year. Are these both creepers? If not, what are they? I thought at first that one could be poison oak, but I read that it never has more than 3 leaflets.

ANSWER:

The first vine you describe is, I believe, Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)

The second vine you describe, I think, is Cayratia japonica (Bushkiller), an invasive species from Southeast Asia.  Here are more photos and information from Louisiana Ecosystems & Plant Identification, Mississippi State University, and North Carolina Department of Agriculture.  My recommendation is to aggressively work to get rid of it.  All the references above for bushkiller have procedures for removing it.

If the bushkiller doesn't appear to be your vine, please visit our Plant Identification page to find plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.   Perhaps you can submit photos and learn its identity from them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Virginia creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of all-white small plants growing in the woods in Belmont, MA.
July 21, 2009 - I have just seen a group of completely ALL-WHITE small plants growing in the woods. They have 4-8in. stalks with a kind of bell-shaped flower growing at the top. There is no green anywhere on this pla...
view the full question and answer

Keys for identification of native plants in Ohio
April 22, 2005 - Do you know of any good web sites that provide keys for the identification of native plants? I'm conducting a wetland plant inventory in southwestern Ohio.
view the full question and answer

Identity of red raspberry-like berries in Connecticut
July 28, 2008 - I found some edible berries today in the woods that look like raspberries, are red like raspberries, but don't taste like them at all. They're very shiny red, remove easily from the bush. The flavor...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

Yellow-blossomed Shrub that Occurs in Arizona and Texas
May 08, 2012 - What is the name of the large shrubs you will see in Arizona with the bright yellow blossoms. They grow wild everywhere, and I also see them in the town. Could you please tell me the name of them, s...
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.

Bibliography

Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Louisiana (2002) C. M. Allen; D. A. Newman; H. H. Winters

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center