En EspaŅol

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
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.
 
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 Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
November 02, 2010 - Near Abilene State Park, a plant's leaves turn purple and it seems to have a pineapple looking growth. We call it the purple pineapple?
view the full question and answer

A stinging plant in Moultrie, GA?
April 28, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I was walking along in my lawn in some flip-flops and my foot barely grazed my ankle. As soon as it had happened, I felt this horrible pain, like a million tiny, invisible splinter...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 13, 2008 - Can you identify a shrub in my backyard? It has odd looking seed pods with three chambers and hard black seeds inside roughly 1/8" in diameter. The pods themselves are brown, hard shell, and hang d...
view the full question and answer

Sumac Leaves Turning Red
November 22, 2013 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently planted a flowering sumac bush. Is it normal for that plant to get fall leaf-color? About a week after planting it, the temp reached the mid-30s, and after that, I ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub growing wild in Austin Texas area
September 23, 2013 - Hi! I need help identifying a bush growing wild in my area. I have pictures of leaves fruit and bark. I cant find a good place to post these in order to ID plant. I'm in Austin TX area. Thank...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center