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?


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

Friday - November 10, 2006

From: Lyons, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Trailing milkvine, Matelea pubiflora, identified from seed pod
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus


I have a vine that has a seed pod that looks like okra. Inside the pod is a small flat seed and a cotton-looking fiber. Please help identify, if possible.


Your plant sounds like one of the Matelea species. There are 8 species of Matelea that are native to Georgia. My guess is that it is Trailing milkvine (Matelea pubiflora) since this species is the only one listed as occurring in Toombs County.

Other species occurring in Georgia are:

Carolina milkvine (M. carolinensis)
Alabama anglepod (M. alabamensis)
Common anglepod (M. gonocarpus)
Oldfield milkvine (M. decipiens)
Baldwin's milkvine (M. baldwyniana)
Yellow Carolina milkvine (M. flavidula)
Climbing milkvine (M. obliqua)

Another plant in the same family, Family Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family), with a similar pod is Honeyvine milkweed (Cynanchum laeve).

Another possibility is the non-native Chinese okra or climbing okra (Luffa acutangula). It is an Asian native.


More Vines Questions

Promoting bloom of crossvine
January 05, 2008 - I planted a crossvine a couple of years ago and it has grown quite well, climbing well up the Mesquite tree it was planted under. However, it has never bloomed. I was really looking forward to those...
view the full question and answer

Wisteria and Non-Poisonous Native Vines
February 15, 2012 - I'm from central Texas and I'm wanting to plant a native vine that will work well around the public, mainly kids. It's a mostly sunny trellis that makes an arch. I'd like to plant the native Wiste...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine growing in Kentucky.
August 11, 2013 - I have a vine I can't identify. The leaf is heart shaped and the vine is fuzzy. The blooms is just now starting to bloom. They are small red and some white in it. The bloom sort of remind you of a c...
view the full question and answer

A Pipevine poisonous to Pipevine Swallowtails
May 30, 2008 - I have heard that a specific Pipevine is poisonous to the larva of Pipevine Swallowtails. Is this true? If so, what is the poisonous species of Pipevine, and what other types can I plant that will not...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in Ohio
March 26, 2010 - We were in our school's back yard and we found a vine that has green leaves and has a purple stem and we were just trying to figure out what is was? Can you help us out with that!
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center