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?


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

Monday - May 06, 2013

From: Pensacola, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Vines
Title: What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


What thorny vine grows rapidly in Pensacola?


Cat briar Smilax bona-nox (Saw greenbrier) comes to mind, but technically, its a prickly vine. To look for others, lets go to our Native Plants Database and do a Combination Search. Select Florida under State, vine under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check both part shade and shade under Light Requirement, and both dry and moist under Soil Moisture. Click the Submit Combination Search button, and you will get a list of 27 native plants that meet these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant along with growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. We find that only the two species of Smilax mention spines.

This link to floridanature.com/vines  gives us a list of vines found in Florida . We see another species of Smilax  plus a species of Mimosa, but it doesn’t occur in Pensacola. So it looks like we have three possibilities, however we were only looking at native plants.

Smilax auriculata

Smilax bona-nox

Smilax pumila

I hope this is helpful.


More Plant Lists Questions

Rain garden plants for Central Texas
February 06, 2014 - Do you have a list of rain garden plants for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Dense groundcover for full sun on the California coast.
November 08, 2011 - Can you recommend a very dense ground cover that serves as a lawn (in full sun on the coast, pref. drought resistant)? Many thanks in advance.
view the full question and answer

New Jersey Native Plants for a Raised Bed
April 15, 2015 - I want to plant some native plants in a raised bed in New Jersey along side a stucco wall that gets direct sun and is very dry due to an overhang. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Native NW Pennsylvania Plants for Soap
November 06, 2014 - Are there any plants in northwest Pennsylvania that can be used as soap?
view the full question and answer

Trees for home in Kansas
April 01, 2012 - I am needing help planting trees in my yard. It's a new construction home and I would like a tree that won't get into the septic system easily. Also, I have to plant 3 other trees as well due to the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center