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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 29, 2012

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs, Vines
Title: Do monarchs like Cynachum laeve in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I have found what I believe is Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve) growing in my yard here in Austin. I tried using the LBJWC plant data base and could not find it. I also found the plant with a different scientific name - Ampelamus aldibus. Is that the same plant? It sure looks a lot like Matalea reticullata, except or the flowers. They are both milkweeds, but do they host monarchs? Thanks


Honeyvine  is a native plant, but unfortunately does not appear in our NPIN Database due to administrative problems that will soon be resolved. Ampelamus aldibus is a synonym meaning that you have one plant species with two names. The species is considered invasive  in some areas.

The Green Milkweed Vine Matelea reticulata (Green milkweed vine) is different species, and as you mentioned, the flowers do look different (see photos below). Since plant identification is based largely on the appearance of the flowers, if the flowers are different, the plants are different.

The material that I have found says that monarch caterpillars feed on milkweeds, but doesn’t specify and particular species. From this I would infer that monarchs would eat the milkweeds in question.

photo Cynanchum laeve

photo  Matalea reticulata


From the Image Gallery

Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

How do I prepare blackfoot daisies for winter in Austin, TX
October 19, 2010 - I have blackfoot daisies in my garden that have bloomed all summer. They are cascading out of the bed onto my lawn/grass. They have been so beautiful that I hate to cut them back. How do I prepare t...
view the full question and answer

Trimming native salvias in January
January 17, 2008 - I have heard you can trim Hot Lips, Raspberry and other salvias back severely in January, to about six inches from the ground. Is this correct?
view the full question and answer

Meadow garden for Colorado Springs CO
June 03, 2012 - We recently purchased a restored home on a mesa just above the downtown area of Colorado Springs on the front range. The previous owners seeded the front lawn with blue gramma and told me that all I ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for a wedding in Memphis MO
October 13, 2009 - I am pretty new at this landscaping flower thing, but I love it. We just moved out to the country in NE Missouri from Colorado (Huge difference, but love it). We have decided to have our wedding at o...
view the full question and answer

Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses from Austin
May 13, 2014 - Is Muhlenbergia dumosa safe for horses? Will horses eat it? I have a client who has a mini-horse who visits her property on occasion, and I want to ensure that what I plant is both safe for the hors...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center