Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Saturday - May 16, 2009

From: Jacksonville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Thorny vine growing through hedge
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

In my hedge, a vine grows that has a bulbous root. It has large thorns up and down the vine. The leaves are shiny and grow all along the vine that is exposed to the sun. the vine grows up thru hedges and puts on leaves only after it is above the hedge. What can I use to kill it. I have scraped the outer layer off the stem/trunk and brushed on stump killer with little effect..I need help

ANSWER:

This sounds like Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier).  Your best for getting rid of it is to cut the vine near ground-level and paint the cut stem with concentrated herbicide such as Roundup.  You have to be very careful doing this, however, and not get the herbicide on any part of the hedge.  Also, please carefully read and follow the safety instructions on the herbicide container.

Smilax bona-nox

Smilax bona-nox

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Seed planting of Crossvine from Orlando FL
September 12, 2011 - Seed planting of Bignonia capreolata - Tangerine Beauty. I have seed pods. Do I plant how deep and should I put in a plastic bag with a wet papertowel in the refrigerator and let it sprout? ...
view the full question and answer

Vines for fence, safe for horses in California
December 12, 2013 - I live in a fire prone part of Orange County, CA named Silverado and own horses. Am interested in fast growing vines to cover a fenced area which are horse safe. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Need a native vine to grow on a fence next to a horse pasture in Kerrville, TX.
May 01, 2013 - I have a wooden fence between my yard and the horse pasture. I would like to plant a native Texas vine (grapevine, honeysuckle, etc.) to cover the fence that will be evergreen and showy, but one that ...
view the full question and answer

Mystery vine in Marlboro NJ
August 05, 2010 - I have a patch in my backyard where we planted pumpkins last year but it does not look like pumpkin vines to me. The vine is smooth and the leaves are long and oval that come to a point. There are s...
view the full question and answer

Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
May 17, 2012 - Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
view the full question and answer

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