Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

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

Wildflowers that grow in woodlands
June 22, 2011 - Please tell me the names of wildflowers that grow under your oak trees in Texas. I am only familiar with those open meadow plants, not those that live under the deciduous trees. Thank you for your t...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify a strange plant in my flowerbed
March 05, 2010 - I have a strange plant that I've called a weed in my flowerbed. It doesn't have many leaves but it has round white almost bulbs at the surface of the dirt. The "bulbs" look almost like a small oni...
view the full question and answer

Identification of stem from a bouquet
January 02, 2012 - I have a stem with leaves that came in a bouquet May 2011. They are still healthy in a vase of water tho they have no roots, just stem. On the back center of each leaf are protrusions half an inch lon...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in VA
May 06, 2011 - We bought a new house with an established garden bed last fall. We have a tall single stemmed plant with long slightly twisted leaves that looks like a tall tulip plant. However, it is just starting...
view the full question and answer

Dodder
April 06, 2012 - I have seen patches of Bluebonnets that are covered with a stringy,rubbery,orange substance that seems to be choking out the particular patch. It wraps itself around the flowers,completely covering th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Bibliography

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

Search More Titles in Bibliography