En Español

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 - January 15, 2013

From: Belton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the vine are huge. They are literally bigger than the size of an adult hand. Not only are the leaves big, but the blue/black berries that hang on it are about marble sized. What is this? I've looked and can't find something similar. Also, there are smaller briars growing nearby that are normal sized, so my guess is that it is a different species and soil or water source is not the cause of the size.

ANSWER:

The best match I can think of for your description above is Vitis cinerea.  Correll & Johnston in Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (p. 1018) give the length of the leaves as 1 to 2 dm (~4 to 8 inches) and the maximum size of the fruits as 9mm (almost 3/8 inches).

Shinners & Mahlers Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, (p. 1070 with a line drawing on p. 1073) says that V. cinerea var. cinerea generally has leaves that are more than 10 cm (~4 inches) long; whereas, Vitis cinerea var. helleri (Winter grape) generally has leaves that are less than 10 cm in length.  The maximum size of the fruits given by Shinners & Mahler is also 9mm (almost 3/8 inches).

Vitis cinerea var. helleri is shown in Bell County on the distribution map in the USDA Plants Database.

Vitis cinerea var. cinerea is shown in adjacent Milam County on the distribution map in the USDA Plants Database, but not in Bell County.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

More Plant Identification Questions

Natural location of Ceanothus impressus in California
May 21, 2006 - Where is Ceanothus impressus 'victoria' native? I need as specific as you can. Thanks much.
view the full question and answer

Mystery forest plant in WV
May 21, 2012 - In the mountains of southern WV I have several acres of shady, moist land. It has never been developed and is COVERED with a low growing fern?ground cover?whatever. It creeps along on very shallow r...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple flower with flowers similar to witch hazel
August 16, 2012 - Found along woods roads. Purple flower about 1 - 2 ft. in height. Central stem rises from a ground level leaf whorl of five leaves from 4 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches at their widest point. C...
view the full question and answer

Need identification of a bush with red bumpy berries in PA.
October 02, 2009 - Pennsylvania - We are trying to identify a bush that has small red bumpy berries. The berries are the size of a crab apple or a cherry. Can you tell us what it is?
view the full question and answer

Indentification of yellow four-petaled plant in Sonoma County CA
March 09, 2015 - Yellow four-petaled plant - low to the ground. Along the coast of CA in Sonoma County (near Bodega Bay) Might be Frying Pan but I can't find a decent description or the botanical name to look it up...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center