Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 - July 05, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of vine with fluffy-seeded pod
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I saw a fluffy seeded pod on our hike this morning. I have seen this vine before, but do not know the proper and scientific name of it. Its leaves appear to be opposite and heart shaped. Could it be a type of milkweed? I don't see a way of attaching photos here. Is there a better way to get an identification?

ANSWER:

Your description suggests to me that it's one of two milkweed vines:

Matelea reticulata (Green milkweed vine)  Here are more photos and information from Archive of Central Texas Plants from the University of Texas School of Biological Sciences.

Matelea edwardsensis (Plateau milkvine)  Here are more photos and information from iNaturalist.

You can see photographs of both species on Milkweeds of Texas and Mexico.

It is isn't easy to tell which vine it is unless there are flowers blooming.  Their flowers, however, are quite distinct from each other.  There is, however, a difference between leaves and stems of the two as described in Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, p. 284, that you might use to tell which vine it is:

M. reticulata:  "...stems and leaves with both long spreading hairs and short glandular hairs; leaves with a strong bad odor..."

M. edwardensis:  "...stems and leaves with only sparse short pubescence of curved or appressed hairs; leaves without a strong bad odor..."

If neither of these appears to be the vine that you saw and you have (or can take) photos, 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


Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Green milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Plateau milkvine
Matelea edwardsensis

Plateau milkvine
Matelea edwardsensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identfication
July 30, 2009 - Hello - Can you help me ID a plant? There are a few growing in grassy areas off roadways in Luna, NM. I will attach photos in photo section. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 03, 2010 - I have a 50 ft tree in my front forest apartment in Lewisburg, TN garden, that is blooming white cluster flowers. They are slightly fragrant. I thought Carolina silverbell but they have NO yellow stam...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in VA
May 06, 2011 - We bought a new house with an established garden bed last fall. We have a tall single stemmed plant with long slightly twisted leaves that looks like a tall tulip plant. However, it is just starting...
view the full question and answer

Correct photos of Cynoglossum virginianum
April 30, 2008 - I recently found some "wild comfrey" (Cynoglossum virginianum) growing in woodlands in Atlanta,GA. When I used the photos on Wildflower Center website to ID this plant, I found what appears to be t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification called Touch-Me-Not, Impatiens sp.
July 03, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: My grandmother used to have a bed of plants that would come up every year that she called "Touch Me Nots". The flower was about 1 1/2" across, orangey with flat green leav...
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.