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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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Wednesday - May 30, 2012

From: Antioch, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vine with 4-petaled purple flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Does anybody know what vine has a purple four petaled flower with small bulb in middle??


One vine that I found that meets your description is Clematis occidentalis var. occidentalis (Purple clematis).  The USDA Plants Database shows its distribution to include adjacent Virginia and North Carolina, but not Tennessee. However, there is the possibility that it could occur in Tennessee and hasn't yet been reported.  You can see more photos and information from US Forest Service and from the the University of Michigan Plant Diversity Website.

If that isn't the vine you have seen, then you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH for native vines that occur in Tennessee in our Native Plant Database by choosing "Tennessee" from the Select State or Province option and "Vine" from the Habit (general appearance) slot.  If it is not a native vine, it won't appear in our database.  If you have a photo, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.



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