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 Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a Kerry bush on Cape Cod
May 20, 2010 - I think the "bush" is called a Kerry bush - grows wild on Cape Cod - has little yellow "rose-like" flowers. - Is this the correct name and how can I make it thrive in New Hampshire?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 20, 2014 - I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
August 20, 2010 - I have a patch of plants I can't find what they are, could you help? The plant is a tuber (resembles a carrot when it is small), the stalk is red and fibrous, comes back each year bigger, has green ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of alien-looking plant
June 06, 2013 - I have a plant that grows 4-5 feet tall, it has pretty "alien looking" flowers with "pods" under flower, and marijuana looking leaves and smell. My neighbor gave me a start last year, and it has ...
view the full question and answer

Is Tagetes lemmonii a Texas native?
July 15, 2008 - Is the Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) a native Texas plant?
view the full question and answer

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