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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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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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Sunday - June 21, 2015

From: Orleans, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Vine with 5 pointed deep lobed leaves and small white flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently happened upon a very peculiar vine. It has 5 pointed very deep lobed leaves, that are semi hairy on both the top and bottom with small white flowers that emerge from the same part of the stem as the leaves. I've never seen anything like it.

ANSWER:

This sounds a bit like Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape).  Its leaves can have a variable shape but certainly some of them have 5 five deeply lobed parts and they do have hairs on both surfaces, especially the bottom.  Here are more photos from The University of Texas and from USDA Plants Database.

Here are other possibilities:

Humulus japonicus (Japanese hops) is an invasive vine from Asia.  Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide.

Cayaponia quinqueloba (Melon-leaf cucumber) is native and here are more photos from Native & Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia and the USDA Plants Database.

If none of these are the plant you found and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

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