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?

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
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

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 Plant Identification Questions

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 03, 2009 - I have a tree growing in my backyard that has started to produce bean shaped blue berries the interior of the berry is red and the leaf shape is long and triangle and the stems the berries grow on are...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from New York
August 21, 2014 - I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 11, 2008 - Can you identify a plant in a shady part of our yard. I have a pictrure I would like to send and I don't see a way to do that here. Can you provide that assistance? Perhaps a direct email address so ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Tamaqua PA
August 08, 2010 - I live in PA, have a plant growing in my geranium planter, was told it was a moonflower, but it is not a vine. The flower is a white trumpet, six star, with purple in the middle. leaves look like ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center