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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - January 06, 2012

From: Giles County, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Plant identification of vine in Tennessee
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have this vine that grows in my backyard and on the vine there are green balls about half the size of a hedge apple and inside balls are a bunch of seeds. The deer love to eat these. Do you know what kind of berry/seed pod this is?

ANSWER:

Your description of the fruit of the vine sounds like that of the native Passiflora incarnata (Purple passionflower).  As it happens, it is the State Flower of Tennessee.  You can see more photos of the vine and its fruit on the USDA Plants Database page.  If this isn't the vine you are describing, you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database, choosing Tennessee under Select State or Province  and "Vine" under Habit (general appearance) to find other native vines of Tennessee.  If none of these vines are the vine in your backyard, then it is likely not a native.  Your best bet for identifying it is to take photos of the fruit and the leaves on the vine and submit them to one of the plant identification forum links found on our Plant Identification page.

Below are photos of the flower and the foliage of Passiflora incarnata from our Image Gallery.  Unfortunately, we do not have photographs of the fruit.

 

 

From the Image Gallery





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