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

 
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Friday - October 17, 2014

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of a vine with red berries in Weatherford, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have found a vine with red berries that I would appreciate an ID for. How can I send you a photo or two of it?

ANSWER:

If you found your vine growing somewhere in the wild, the most likely identification for it is the native Cocculus carolinus (Carolina snailseed).

If you found the vine growing in or near someone's garden, it could possibly be Lycium barbarum (Matrimony vine or Goji berry), a native of China and other parts of Asia.   It is a vining shrub with red berries—goji berries—that are purported to act as antioxidants and it has other medicinal qualities.   It is reported as occurring in Parker County by the USDA Plants Database. Here are photos and more information from the Institute for Traditional Medicine and from Montana Plant Life.

These two are the only vines with red berries reported to be in Parker County, Texas.  If neither of these is the vine you saw, please visit our Plant Identification page to links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

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