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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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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Wednesday - August 21, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo and no one has been successful in identifying it. Can I send you the image to see if you can help? And then the follow up question is how can she eradicate it.


Please go to our Plant Identification page, which will explain why we are no longer able to accept photographs for identification. And if no one in your Master Gardener's group knows what it is, it is almost surely a non-native. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which that plant evolved; in this case, Travis County, so we might not be able to identify it anyway.

Since it is a vine and the homeowner obviously doesn't want it, whatever it is, please read this previous answer about eradicating Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper), which is native but also a vine very given to invasiveness. The identification of the vine really makes no difference anyway, if you don't want it, kill it! But do it safely, without harming anything else in the garden. DON'T SPRAY


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