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

Thursday - September 01, 2011

From: Norfolk, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Plant identification of vine in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Have vine that has small 3 pointed leaves somewhat like a grape but only an inch or 2 long. Adult fruit is black or purple egg shaped and only 3/4 of an inch long. Fruit is single in the middle of the vine not bunched like a grape. Also has small yellow flowers.

ANSWER:

The description of your plant sounds like Melothria pendula (Guadeloupe cucumber).  The fruit turns black as it becomes mature and is mildly toxic.  Here is another description of the plant from Wildflowers of the Southeastern U. S.  and lots more photos from Southeastern Flora.

If this doesn't sound like your plant and you have photos of it, you might want to visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

You can also search for Virginia native vines yourself in our Native Plant Database.  Under COMBINATION SEARCH select 'Virginia' under Select State or Province and 'Vine' under Habit (general appearance).  You can also make selections under other categories if they are appropriate.

 

From the Image Gallery


Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of plant with cluster of bell-shaped flowers and 2 leaves
April 21, 2012 - In Kirtland, Ohio. Clay soil. Woodsy, moist area. Stem sticks up about 6 inches; stem is bare except for top inch, where 2 leaves and cluster of white drooping bell-like flowers appear. Ball-shaped ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 14, 2009 - a vine plant with small white flowers with a small red flower on the end of the bloom,looks like a little red bird sitting on the flower.It is beautiful.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--Mock Orange
June 08, 2009 - I "grew up" with what I was told was a "Mockorange Bush." I've been looking around to be able to try to identify what variety it was. To be specific, the one that I am familiar with had little...
view the full question and answer

Plant with no leaves, flexible and stores water
January 09, 2009 - Do you now a plant that has no leaves but stores a lot of water and is very flexible? Maybe a type of vine? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in Tennessee
November 08, 2013 - I am trying to identify a vine growing on the ground under what looks to be a holly bush. I have pictures of it if there is an email I can send them to? Thank You!!!!
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