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 Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID at Wildflower Center from Waco TX
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Center last weekend and no one was able to answer these two questions: 1. Where can I buy Silver Ponyfoot groundcover? 2. What is the name of the plant with coral blossoms in front of...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 22, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow blooming plants near Temple, Texas
November 07, 2011 - This question may be a challenge. We noticed fields of yellow blooming plants in the fields east of Temple. They appear to be about 4 inches tall. (we were on a bus and could not stop to look cl...
view the full question and answer

Thermopsis caroliniana not in database from Philadelphia
September 16, 2009 - Thermopsis caroliniana is not in your plant database. What is the reason for that? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 07, 2009 - Having great difficulty identifying a perennial plant. Although it looks marvelous (coming in two shades), I haven't been able to correctly identify it. Local college feels it is Eupatorium Rugosum, ...
view the full question and answer

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