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

Tuesday - November 05, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Grapevine at the Wildflower Center
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

Hello :) I recently visited the Lady Bird Wildflower Center for Goblins in the Garden. I'm curious if you all know exactly what type of grape is growing in the back of the garden near the "Healing Garden". This was behind the beautiful owl and in front of the gallery. The leaves had a very soft, fuzzy feel and the grapes were a dark purple during our visit. Thanks!

ANSWER:

The plant you are referring to is almost certainly Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape). There are a couple of other vines growing on that same arbor, including Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle) and Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), but mustang grape fits your description.

Mustang grapes are native to most of the eastern half of Texas. They are an important food source for birds and small mammals. People use them to make jelly (here's a recipe) and wine (here's how).

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Origin of thorned plant-like object falling from the sky
September 01, 2011 - This morning while walking I felt a prick on my arm, like something had bitten me. I looked and saw what appeared to be a very tiny little plant with a thorn on it sticking out of my arm. I pulled i...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 01, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Ever since we received this (much needed and wonderful) rain in Austin, my gardens and yard are being swamped with these tiny, green clover-like plants. I've never seen it ...
view the full question and answer

What is the correct genus name for Fringe flower in North Myrtle Beach, SC?
September 14, 2010 - Is it Laura Pedlum or lorapetalum? I saw this shrub last week, and finally found a picture of it. The search engine listed about three different names for it! So what is the correct name, and does i...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant at Zilker Botanical Gardens
March 22, 2011 - I am trying to identify a large flowering shrub I saw at Zilker Botanical Gardens. The bloom looks like a small chrysanthemum bloom that has been ruffled. The bloom are yellow, white, or pink. We h...
view the full question and answer

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