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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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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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Friday - May 29, 2009

From: Stony Brook, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of vine in Stony Brook NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Identify- vine type, Thorny stem, medium size leaves, color medium green with a jagged-reddish edge, leaf shape oblong, small white flowers. Growing in a patch of English green ivy. Looks invasive. Spreading quickly. Can you identify?

ANSWER:

We are going to have you go to our Native Plant Database, do the Combination Search, selecting New York and "vine" under Habit. When you click on the Submit Combination Search box, you will get a list of 60 possibilities. Each plant will have a link to a webpage about that individual plant, with photos if we have them. There are thumbnail photos on the list page to give you a clue which to look at. If it is not there, and especially if you consider it invasive, it could very well be a non-native invasive. Of course, if it is growing in English ivy, that is another non-native invasive, so if you pulled the whole lot out, you wouldn't hurt our feelings. If you still can't identify it, go to our Mr. Smarty Plants Plant Identification page, and follow the instructions to send us photos and we will try to figure out what it is.
 

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