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 - June 22, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Tentative identification of Ibervillea lindheimeri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live close to the Center and found a plant in the park near my house I'd like identified. It was a vine with bright red fruit on it. The fruit was about the size of a cherry tomato but was oblong. It has a hard rind with bright orange pulp and black seeds the size of a BB. The vine didn't have any flowers on it but could it be a passionflower? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Most likely your vine is Ibervillea lindheimeri (Lindheimer's globeberry or balsam gourd). It is very common on the grounds of the Wildflower Center and ours are covered with the bright red fruits right now. Another possibility is Passiflora foetida (Corona de Cristo or fetid passionflower) which has bright red fruit about the size you describe. It is native to South Texas, but is often planted elsewhere and could be an escapee from someone's garden.

If one of these isn't the vine you saw, please send us photos and we will be happy to have another try at identifying it. For instructions on sending digital photos for us to identify, please read Plant Identification on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page.


Ibervillea lindheimeri

Ibervillea lindheimeri

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of red flower in Austin
August 02, 2008 - What is the plant I have seen in urban landscapes in Austin, Texas, that have bright red flowers at the terminus of what looks like a spray of green, jointed, drooping branches (or stalks). It forms ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2008 - I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of native Texas plants from a list
February 09, 2008 - Please identify Texas Native Plants from the list below: Cotoneaster, Bi-color Iris, Greencloud Sage, Dwarf Wax myrtle, Nolina, Spineless prickly pear, Gulf Muhly, Bamboo Muhly, Big Muhly, Maiden Gra...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 25, 2008 - Identification of woodland plant in a rual area ? we have bears britches and another plant simaler, but the leaves are flat and smooth, each leaf is on a seperate stalk and each plant has 3 stalk...
view the full question and answer

Keys for identification of native plants in Ohio
April 22, 2005 - Do you know of any good web sites that provide keys for the identification of native plants? I'm conducting a wetland plant inventory in southwestern Ohio.
view the full question and answer

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