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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

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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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.

 
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Thursday - April 25, 2013

From: Charlotte Hall, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Problem Plants, Vines
Title: Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't have a tree to vine onto, it will grow like a bush with long stems. The thorns are dangerously big and cut you. I have a picture but can't see a way to send it to you. Do you know what these are and how to get rid of them?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants can no longer accept photos for identification purposes.  We loved doing it but we were overwhelmed with photos and requests and we didn't have enough staff and/or volunteers to devote to that service and still be able to answer all our Mr. Smarty Plants questions. He suggests that you visit our Plant Identification  page where we have listed links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

With the little information I had, I found a couple of plant species that may be what you have. Compare the images with your plant.

Rubus phoenicolasius 
    invasive.org   (click on "Weed of the Week" for tips on removal)

   Virginia Tech

   nps.gov  (has control tips)

Rubus hispidus
   Rubus hispidus (Bristly dewberry)

   carolinanature.com

 For some help closer to home, you might want to contact the folks at the Charles County office of University of Maryland Extension.

 

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