Monday, June 18, 2007


We found a new vine near the pond: Anglepod (sometimes written Angle-Pod). It's one of the climbing milkweeds, and the latin name is either Matelea gonocarpa or Gonolobus gonocarpa. The latter doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but was apparently the original name. Then it was changed to Matelea, which sounds much more poetic, if you ask me. Then it was changed back. Maybe.

Several internet sources cite the "it was changed back" story, but the USDA plants site and the Integrated Taxonomic Information System pages both show Matelea as correct.

They've both got .gov at the end so they must be correct, right...? I have no idea.

To make things even more confusing, there are two similar species, the gonocarpa and the suberosa (or suberosus if you are going with Gonolobus instead of Matelea). Basically the difference is that one has smooth (glabrous) flowers and the other has hairy (pubescent) ones. But in one scientific paper, it is suggested that yes, there should be two types, but they should be distinguished not based on hairiness but on flower color. (The flowers may be colored as shown here or they may be pure green.)

I think I'm just going to call it Anglepod! And try to avoid writing it down.


Hilton Pond's article on the hairy two-toned version.

Wayne at Niches has written about this confusion previously. (And if I'd been better about keeping up with my blog reading lately I'd have seen it before I wrote all this!)


Anonymous said...

I've got the solid green kind.

Rurality said...

Wow that one is interesting. Looks a bit different structurally too, though I did see some pics elsewhere that looked exactly the same as our vine except for the maroon color. So... maybe there are even more varieties...? I shudder to think!

Rurality said...

Oh I forgot to say, I read that the solid green kind is apparently more common in the west of the range.

Rurality said...

On second thought, I believe yours is acutally Matelea reticulata, a.k.a. netted milkvine. Only in TX. :)

Compare the pic here:

pablo said...

I think milkweed is set to take over the world. This kind of ambiguity in their identification is merely part of their plan to keep us unsuspecting.

Also, I am envious that you know your land so well that you know when you've spotted something new. But you are the Queen.

Rurality said...

I know that you can tell that sort of thing too! I think you are trying to butter me up for fossils. :)

meresy_g said...

a new plant to me. Interesting. And admirable that you go to such lengths to identify and key out a new find.

Cookie Jill said...


(were they off a'courtin'?) ;-)