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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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Sunday - August 11, 2013

From: Ekron, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identity of vine growing in Kentucky.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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 carnation bud. It's not a solid one bud. It is approximately 7 feet tall and wrapped around the light pole. I hope you can help me. Thank you.

ANSWER:

You can search for your vine by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database.  Choose "Kentucky" from Select State or Province, "Vine" from Habit (general appearance) and  "White","Pink" and "Red" (all three) from Bloom Color.  You should try the search yourself to be sure I haven't missed your vine, but here are some possibilities I found:

Apios americana (Groundnut)

Mikania scandens (Climbing hempvine)

Polygonum arifolium (Halberdleaf tearthumb)  Here are photos and more information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Strophostyles helvola (Amberique-bean)  Here are more photos and information from Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia.

Strophostyles umbellata (Pink fuzzybean)  Here are more photos and information from Southeastern Flora.

All the above plants are native to North America (north of Mexico).  I can think of another vine with heart-shaped, somewhat fuzzy leaves and pinkish or reddish flowers that is NOT native to North America, but to Mexico and Central America.  It is Antigonon leptopus (Coral vine or Queen's wreath).  I think it would probably grow for a season in Kentucky but I don't believe it would overwinter.  Its USDA Plant Hardiness Zones are 8-10 and Kentucky is in Zones 6-7a.

If none of the vines above are your vine and you have (or can take) photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.  Be sure to read the "Important Notes" for submitting images near the bottom of the page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Groundnut
Apios americana

Groundnut
Apios americana

Groundnut
Apios americana

Climbing hempvine
Mikania scandens

Climbing hempvine
Mikania scandens

Amberique-bean
Strophostyles helvola

Amberique-bean
Strophostyles helvola

Pink fuzzybean
Strophostyles umbellata

Pink fuzzybean
Strophostyles umbellata

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