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Solve this mystery: Vine Blooms in MA
November 24, 2011 5:29 PM   Subscribe

What, oh garden masters, is this mystery plant?

The plant in question is the flowering vine that occupies the majority of the lower half of the picture. I've added a couple of notes to the image so you can see what I'm talking about.

The plant is found on my In-Law's property in central Massachusetts. It was photographed in bloom in August.

Is this a native plant or an invasive species?
posted by onhazier to Home & Garden (17 answers total)
 
It looks a bit like wild sweet peas. If you like them, congratulations, they grow like crazy and take over a good amount of space.

If you don't like them, I'm sorry, because they grow like crazy and take over a good amount of space.
posted by xingcat at 5:52 PM on November 24, 2011


Looks like lupins to me.
posted by sarae at 6:08 PM on November 24, 2011


Is it wisteria? Usually the flowers hang down, but if the vine is growing on the ground . . . I guess they might stick up. The leaves look just like wisteria, though the flower is an unusual color.
posted by miss patrish at 6:11 PM on November 24, 2011


Wisteria looks promising. Here's a photo of sweet peas, just for reference.
posted by xingcat at 6:12 PM on November 24, 2011


it is definitely not wisteria, lupins, nor sweet peas (wild or otherwise). check out the curled proto-bloom and the significant lips on the mature bloom.

I know I usually know this one, but it's not coming to mind for some reason. argh.

still poking about to see if I can discover it, though. hopefully, someone with a better mental filing system will show up in the meantime.
posted by batmonkey at 6:19 PM on November 24, 2011


Kudzu? Climbing nightshade? Shell vines?
posted by xingcat at 6:34 PM on November 24, 2011


I was going to say corkscrew vine, but didn't think the leaves looked right. What do you guys think?
posted by miss patrish at 6:35 PM on November 24, 2011


Apios americana is my guess, but I've never seen one in person.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:18 PM on November 24, 2011


Sorry, forgot to include the range of the darn thing. I grew up in central MA and I don't remember ever seeing it, but apparently it does exist there.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:22 PM on November 24, 2011


is it baneberry?

posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:02 PM on November 24, 2011


sorry link didn't show up:
https://academics.skidmore.edu/wikis/NorthWoods/index.php/Actaea_pachypoda_(White_Baneberry)
posted by Tandem Affinity at 8:02 PM on November 24, 2011


I think sciencegeek has got it.
posted by Red Loop at 8:50 PM on November 24, 2011


Yeah, sciencegeek's right, I think. That's a legume but it's not hairy enough to be kudzu and its leaves aren't trilobed.
Here's more on Apios americana.
posted by gingerest at 9:06 PM on November 24, 2011


Another vote here for Vigna caracalla - snail vine.
posted by Catch at 12:49 AM on November 25, 2011


Not snail vine (but, wow, what a cool plant!) - here's a great set of pics that shows the difference very clearly (note especially the difference in leaves and mature blossoms).

The comparison with the ground nut seems really close, although the blossoms aren't quite right for the specific type linked. Hm!
posted by batmonkey at 4:03 AM on November 25, 2011


You guys are great! It is the Ground Nut that sciencegeek first identified. The habitat in which it resides is a moist wood/wetland transition area. The In-Laws have lived on their property for over 7 years and had never seen it before. We bet a seed or two was brought in by some of the local wildlife. Very cool. Thank you.
posted by onhazier at 4:48 AM on November 25, 2011


right on! I hope you eat some of the nuts & tell us about it!
posted by batmonkey at 5:35 AM on November 25, 2011


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