Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Identification of a tree at David Crockett Cabin Museum in Tennessee
October 22, 2012 - I was in Lawrenceburg TN and stopped by the David Crockett Cabin Museum. There was a tree and it dropped lemon sized balls on the ground. What kind of tree is it?
view the full question and answer

Proper spacing for planting yuccas
January 10, 2009 - We bought some yuccas and need to know how far apart to plant them
view the full question and answer

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2010 - My husband brought home a plant which I have not been able to id. It is a bush, has 2 ovate to ellipse leaves, whorled, with 4 (2 pairs) smooth thin skinned (you can see white veins under the skin rad...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 22, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

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