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

Thursday - August 07, 2014

From: Galveston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

there is a plant in our yard...I believe it to be in the seed phase..it has 3 or 5 pointed leaves topped with a green fuzzy ball then another set of leaves and a green fuzzy ball..this is continued all the walk up the stock...I have a picture I can send..at first I thought it was a foxglove seed pod but its not slick like they are..please help

ANSWER:

Since it showed up in your yard it probably isn't a native plant but a non-native cultivar whose seed came from someone else's garden.  Since our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America we are not going to be much help with non-natives.   Nevertheless, I will suggest a few native plants in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) which have similarities to your description.  You need to realize that the photos we have usually show the plants in full bloom.   I've tried to find photos of flowers that are past their prime so that they might look like the plant you describe.

Hyptis alata (Clustered bushmint)  Here is a photo from SpaceCoastWildflowers (you will need to scroll down the page to find the photo).

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)  Here is a photo of a slightly more mature plant.

Monarda clinopodioides (Basil beebalm)  Here is an illustration from PlantsIllustration.org.

Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm)  Here is a photo from Earth Tones Native.

If none of these is your plant and you say you have photo, please go to our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Clustered bushmint
Hyptis alata

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Basil beebalm
Monarda clinopodioides

Spotted beebalm
Monarda punctata

Spotted beebalm
Monarda punctata ssp. punctata var. lasiodonta

More Plant Identification Questions

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016 - We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
view the full question and answer

Mystery shrub in Michigan
July 18, 2011 - I live in the upper peninsula of Michigan and noticed a shrub in the woods that has large clusters of small red, what I would call berries on it. Can you give me some n...
view the full question and answer

Photographing and Identifying trees of Long Island
June 01, 2013 - After being in a car accident I got into photography as sports are a distant memory due to my injuries. As a new hobby I thought of taking pictures of trees and then finding out their species name. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 28, 2012 - I have a plant that looks like a suculent tree with a canopy like an umbrella. It grows every summer & is no more than 5 ft tall. It has tiny spines on it's trunk, which has white spots on it. the en...
view the full question and answer

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