Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Friday - August 07, 2015

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vining shrub near Fort Worth
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please let me know what this plant might be. Saw it one county west of Ft. Worth, in a wooded area, and I've never seen this in this region before. The form is a vining shrub. Leaves are heart-shaped, dark green, and pointed. There are red berries held closely along the stems, about the size of big cherries. Also it was one of a kind. Nothing else like it anywhere around plus it is in a very rural wooded area and there's no way this was planted here. Thanks!

ANSWER:

My best guess for the vining shrub that you saw is Ampelopsis cordata (Heartleaf peppervine).  It is a member of the Family Vitaceae (Grape Family).  The fruits are not quite as large as you indicated, however.  It does occur in both Erath and Palo Pinto Counties, west of Fort Worth, according to the USDA Plants Database Distribution Map.

Another possibility is Cocculus carolinus (Carolina snailseed) but its fruits are also smaller than cherries.  Here are more photos from Plant of the Week and Hilton Pond Center.  It occurs in Tarrant, Parker and Erath Counties according to the USDA Plants Database Distribution Map.

There is also Ibervillea lindheimeri (Balsam gourd) with larger red fruit but leaves that couldn't exactly be called heartshaped.  It occurs in Tarrant, Palo Pinto and Erath Counties on the USDA Plants Database Distribution Map.

 

From the Image Gallery


Heartleaf peppervine
Ampelopsis cordata

Heartleaf peppervine
Ampelopsis cordata

Carolina snailseed
Cocculus carolinus

Balsam gourd
Ibervillea lindheimeri

Balsam gourd
Ibervillea lindheimeri

More Vines Questions

Flowers for monarch butterflies in Bastrop, Gonzales and Travis Counties of Texas
March 05, 2013 - Hi Mr./s. Smarty Plants, What are some flowers that grow naturally on a Bastrop, Travis, or Gonzales county riverside that monarch butterflies commonly feed on? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Eliminating kudzu from Richmond KY
March 26, 2014 - I live in Richmond KY, Kirksville area. I have noticed that Kudzu has started to grow in my patch of land next to the creek. How can I get rid of this before it becomes a big problem?
view the full question and answer

Fast growing, evergreen vine for deck
May 14, 2008 - Hi, I hope you might help me select the most appropriate flowering vine for my situation. I am looking for a fast growing, mostly evergreen, and long blooming flowering vine for a large container (pro...
view the full question and answer

Do monarchs like Cynachum laeve in Austin, TX?
May 29, 2012 - I have found what I believe is Honeyvine (Cynanchum laeve) growing in my yard here in Austin. I tried using the LBJWC plant data base and could not find it. I also found the plant with a diff...
view the full question and answer

Waiting for a Passiflora to Emerge
May 06, 2014 - My passiflora vine in Virginia seems to have died in our severe winter. Should I continue to wait for new growth or dig it up now and start again?
view the full question and answer

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