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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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Wednesday - May 23, 2012

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of vine with green flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Trying to identify a vine with 5-petaled ~1 cm dia green flowers (w/ barely perceptible white & black speckles). I have 3 photos I can send (showing flowers & leaves). The flower petals are almost the same green as the leaves. Found growing in dry,rocky, non-irrigated ground under oak trees in San Antonio.

ANSWER:

This sounds to me like either Matelea reticulata (Green milkweed vine) or Matelea edwardsensis (Plateau milkvine).  Here is another photo of M. reticulata and one of M. edwardsensis.  You can see more photos of both vines on the Milkweeds of Texas and Mexico page.

If neither of these is the vine you saw, you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database and choose "Texas" from Select State or Province and "Vine" from Habit (general appearance).   This will give you a list of vines to scroll through that are native to Texas.  We no longer accept photos for identification.  We loved doing this but we were overwhelmed with photos and didn't have enough staff or volunteers to handle all of them.  However, if your vine isn't one of the two above or you don't find it in a search in our Native Plant Database, then please visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several  plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pearl milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Pearl milkweed vine
Matelea reticulata

Plateau milkvine
Matelea edwardsensis

Plateau milkvine
Matelea edwardsensis

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