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
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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

Native Wildflowers and Grasses for Texas Acreage
April 15, 2015 - I recently purchased about 36 acres in Somervell County, Texas where cedar had been bulldozed and burned (many large spots). What would be the best native flowers or grasses to replant in that area? L...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to fill in spaces where wooden expansion joints were removed in a patio in Seguin, TX
July 11, 2015 - I have removed the rotted wood in the expansion joints in my patio. I would prefer replacing them with some sort of plant. The patio gets partial sunlight.
view the full question and answer

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for Newton Square, PA
August 25, 2014 - I'm looking for highly deer resistant plants native to PA. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Suggested native plants for Katy, TX
March 02, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants I recently moved to Katy, Tx (just outside of Houston) and I would like to know what type of plants and flowers are best for this type of climate. The soil in my flower beds seem...
view the full question and answer

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