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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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Tuesday - October 30, 2012

From: Lakeland, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identity of vines in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I have 2 different types of vines growing in my shrubs. They are very pretty and I like them I just want to know if they are poisonous or if they will take over my shrubs. I have not been able to find them anywhere in my research. The first one is pinkish to purplish colored with a tubular shaped flower with 4 petals and has thin narrow leaves that are maybe in inch long. The second flower is pinkish to purplish colored. They grow in groups along the vine and the flowers have 3 petals. The top one is like a bonnet shaped and the other two are thin and slim. On the top petal there are 2 small green ovals. The leaves to this vine are heart shaped.

ANSWER:

Here are some native candidates for your two vines.  None of them matches your description exactly, but have some characteristics of the vines you describe:

Galactia volubilis (Downy milkpea)   Here are more photos and information from Natives for Your Neighborhood of the Institute for Regional Conservation in South Florida.

Lathyrus palustris (Marsh pea)   Here are more photos and information from Illinois Wildflowers.  See the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database for a description of the Lathyrus spp. toxicity.

Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Climbing snapdragon)  Here are more photos and information from the USDA Plants Database.

Strophostyles helvola (Amberique-bean)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Plants and Southeastern Flora.

Vicia americana (American vetch)  Here are more photos and information from Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses.

Vicia caroliniana (Carolina vetch)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Plants.

Jacquemontia tamnifolia (Hairy clustervine)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Plants and Southeastern Flora.

Clematis crispa (Swamp leatherflower)  Here are more photos and information from Duke University and the North Carolina Native Plant Society.  See the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database for a description of the Clematis spp. toxicity.

Ipomoea cordatotriloba (Tievine)  Here are more photos and information from Alabama Plants and from the Archive of Central Texas Plants.

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database to see vines native to Florida by choosing "Florida" from the Select State or Province slot, "Vine" from Habit (general appearance) and "Pink", "Blue", "Purple" and "Violet" from Bloom Characteristics.

For non-native invasive vines please check the webpage for Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants from the University of Florida.

You can see more vines, some native and some non-native, on the Florida's Nature page.

If you don't find your vines in any of the above sources, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several Plant Identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Downy milkpea
Galactia volubilis

Marsh pea
Lathyrus palustris

Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Amberique-bean
Strophostyles helvola

American vetch
Vicia americana

Carolina vetch
Vicia caroliniana

Hairy clustervine
Jacquemontia tamnifolia

Swamp leatherflower
Clematis crispa

Tievine
Ipomoea cordatotriloba

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