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

Thursday - September 01, 2011

From: Norfolk, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Plant identification of vine in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Have vine that has small 3 pointed leaves somewhat like a grape but only an inch or 2 long. Adult fruit is black or purple egg shaped and only 3/4 of an inch long. Fruit is single in the middle of the vine not bunched like a grape. Also has small yellow flowers.

ANSWER:

The description of your plant sounds like Melothria pendula (Guadeloupe cucumber).  The fruit turns black as it becomes mature and is mildly toxic.  Here is another description of the plant from Wildflowers of the Southeastern U. S.  and lots more photos from Southeastern Flora.

If this doesn't sound like your plant and you have photos of it, you might want to visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

You can also search for Virginia native vines yourself in our Native Plant Database.  Under COMBINATION SEARCH select 'Virginia' under Select State or Province and 'Vine' under Habit (general appearance).  You can also make selections under other categories if they are appropriate.

 

From the Image Gallery


Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of garlic-like plant in Florida
June 17, 2012 - Please tell me what this plant is. It is not Society Garlic and it is not Meadow Garlic. It has THREE curling purple leaves and lots of bulbs flowering from the same stalk. The pointy leaves are edg...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 28, 2010 - I have a very distinctive vine accompanying morning glory in invading my beds - it is Prickly! (on the vine, underside of leaves, leaf stems). The leaf is not arrowhead, but a triangle; I've not seen...
view the full question and answer

Locating Rosa rugosa for Massachusetts
May 09, 2006 - There is a shrub that grows out on the Cape especially at the beach. I have always called it Beach Rose and I have heard other people call it a Beach Plum. However, the most recent picture of a Beac...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 04, 2010 - There is a wildflower growing in my pasture. It is low growing, triangle leaves, flowers are blue, five petals with what looks like a white flower in the middle. Gods blessings to all there.
view the full question and answer

Identification of colicroot and yellow colic-root
March 23, 2005 - There is a green flowering bush with yellow blooms off Taylor road in Dale, Texas (Caldwell County). What type of wildflower or weed is this? Could it possibly be Yellow Colic Root?
view the full question and answer

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