Rent Shop 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

Monday - June 09, 2014

From: bastrop, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Need to identify hemp-like plant in Bastrop, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

What is the large stalky, hemp-like plant that populates our creek bottoms and ditches here in Central Texas? It has large 5-6 in. lobed leaves, and a fibrous central stalk that gets up to 7 ft tall. It gets a flowered seed head late in growth similar to hemp. The leaves and stems are scratchy, and if broken, a whitish resin exudes. I've heard it called ragweed, or goat weed, but I know these are incorrect. Its everywhere in the Austin and Barton Creek watershed area. What is it?

ANSWER:

It’s hard to identify a plant from a written description, but if Mr. Smarty Plants were a guessing man, he’d guess that you are talking about Giant Ragweed Ambrosia trifida (Great ragweed), although the whitish resin exudate doesn’t quite fit. I broke a stem of a Ragweed plant this afternoon and the sap was red. Your description of the plant as hemp-like is apt, because  there is more than one instance of over zealous law enforcement officers busting people for having ragweed growing on their property. I’m curious as to why you think ragweed is an incorrect identification.
What we need to help identify the plant are some good photographs, but Mr. Smarty Plants is no longer able to receive images for identification. My suggestion is to go to our Identification Page   where there are several forums listed that you can send images to. Pay careful attention to the Important Notes for sending images.

Good luck.

More images

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Canadian Marine West Coast Plants
December 15, 2011 - What type of plants are found in the Canadian marine west coast climate?
view the full question and answer

Shade ground cover under honeysuckle from Wichita KS
February 21, 2012 - Hi! I know this is a bit odd, but I am trying to find a nontoxic, good ground covering plant that can live in the shade while competing with the roots of a whole bunch of honeysuckle. I have a few ide...
view the full question and answer

Low plants to cover bank too steep to mow
June 26, 2008 - I have a bank along the road that is too steep to mow. This bank faces east and only gets 2 - 4 hours per day of sunlight. I'd like to try ground cover to prevent erosion, however visibility is a p...
view the full question and answer

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