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 - October 04, 2011

From: Orange, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Plant identification of a potted vine in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It is definitely a vine as it is climbing up one of the posts. The leaf is oval and V veined. The fruit is green now but I'm sure it has not yet matured. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Generally, a plant growing in a pot indicates a cultivated non-native plant.  Since our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with the study, conservation and promotion of plants native to North America, we aren't likely going to be able to identify a non-native cultivated plant.  Indeed, there isn't really enough detail in your description to suggest any particular vine that I can think of.  You can, however, search in our Native Plant Database for California native possibilities by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and choosing "California" from the Select State or Province option and "Vine" from Habit (general appearance).  This will give you a list of almost 50 vines, most with photos, for you to see.   If none of these looks like your vine, then you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.   Be sure to read the "Important Notes" for submitting photos and also be sure that the photos you submit are in good focus.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
November 08, 2012 - I have visited this page and 18 more! I am still trying to find a plant that I found on a creek that runs through our land. I have pics. Great ones! Can I send the pic? If you like it, use it. I ...
view the full question and answer

Weed identification
February 27, 2012 - Weeds / Wildflower. I dream of a photo identification for weeds / wildflowers that pop up in my garden here in Austin, Texas. Maybe I don't want to pull them up. How do I know? Do you know of a b...
view the full question and answer

Information about plant called Josephs tears, possibly Jobs tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)
October 08, 2007 - I recently received a plant and was told it was a succulent called Joseph's Tears. According to the individual who gave it to me, during the month of September it develops a little growth at the tip...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification possibly red buckeye
July 06, 2008 - I encountered a shrub-like plant in the Edwards Plateu noth of Bracketville, and could use your help with identification. It's most distinguishing charactaristics are the seed pod, which has three c...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Michigan
May 26, 2010 - We are trying to identify a plant in our yard. It is seven inches tall in May, grows to about knee high, has red leaves, flowers in late June, early July. The flower is light pink. It is a perennia...
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