Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

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
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

Tuesday - November 05, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Grapevine at the Wildflower Center
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

Hello :) I recently visited the Lady Bird Wildflower Center for Goblins in the Garden. I'm curious if you all know exactly what type of grape is growing in the back of the garden near the "Healing Garden". This was behind the beautiful owl and in front of the gallery. The leaves had a very soft, fuzzy feel and the grapes were a dark purple during our visit. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The plant you are referring to is almost certainly Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape). There are a couple of other vines growing on that same arbor, including Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) and Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), but mustang grape fits your description.

Mustang grapes are native to most of the eastern half of Texas. They are an important food source for birds and small mammals. People use them to make jelly (here's a recipe) and wine (here's how).

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

More Vines Questions

How to distinguish male and female grape vines in Gage OK.
August 19, 2012 - Are there male and female plants for wild grapes? If so, how do we tell the difference?
view the full question and answer

Folsom CA Wall-cover
April 13, 2012 - I live in Folsom, CA and I have an ugly cinder block wall that I want to cover, I want something that is low maintenance and that is going to grow and spread into my grass. The only one i can really t...
view the full question and answer

Cow-itch vine name from Seguin TX
July 02, 2012 - How did Cow-Itch Vine (Cissus incisa / Cissus trifoliata) get its name?
view the full question and answer

Slow flowering wisteria
May 09, 2007 - We have a young wisteria growing on the side of the house. It began to flower this year for the first time. Whereas my neighbors' wisterias all bloomed in February, ours has only begun to bloom in mi...
view the full question and answer

Trumpet vines on wall in Longmont CO
May 18, 2010 - I purchased three trumpet vines to plant on the NW wall of my house back in 2002. Although the leaves are a beautiful healthy dark green, none of them have ever bloomed despite regular fertilizing pe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.