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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.

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?

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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.

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Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 

Plant Identification

We would love to spend all day identifying native plants for you folks! However, we already spend all day (and most of the night) answering your native plant questions. Luckily, there are some excellent forums available to help you identify those mysterious unknowns.

UBC Botanical Gardens Forums - The UBC Botanical Garden provides an Expert Identification forum for plant identification with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest of North America. Registration required to submit images for ID.

Dave's Garden - Dave's Garden (aka "DG") is an informational website where you can post an image and/or a detailed description, and your fellow gardeners will help you figure out what it is in their Plant and Tree Identification Discussion Forum. Registration required to submit images for ID.

GardenWeb - The Name That Plant forum allows users to upload images of plants that they are trying to identify so that others may help them come up with a name. Registration required to submit images for ID.

If the forums can't help, try contacting a local representative from your native plant society or your county extension agent with the USDA Cooperative Extension System.

Important Notes when submitting images for identification:

  1. Be sure to post where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.
  2. If possible, take several high-resolution images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.
  3. Save images in JPEG format.
  4. Do not reduce the resolution of your images. It is much easier to identify species from high-resolution images.
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