En Español

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?


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


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


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

Plant identification
September 25, 2012 - I have a plant that was in a funeral arrangement. The plant has green leaves with darker green spots on it. I do not know what kind of plant it is, nor do I know how much light the plant needs on a ...
view the full question and answer

Orange and fuschia flowers on bushes in Maine
July 01, 2008 - I recently visited Portland,ME from end of May to the second week in June. many of the homes had these beautiful flowering bushes next to the houses. The flowers grew in clusters similar to hydrangeas...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in Pennsylvania
June 11, 2012 - I have several vine plants growing in my deck planters from last season. The leaves are 9 pointed, it looks more like 7, but there are 2 little points at the very bottom of the larger leaves. When t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 09, 2011 - In North Central Texas recommended plants, there are three coneflowers listed: Echinacea angustifolia-Black sampson E. purpurea-Purple coneflower E. purpurea-Eastern purple coneflower Is the Eas...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Pearland TX
August 10, 2013 - I am looking for a native plant; was told it was called Hummingbird Weed. Came from Coryell County. I let mine freeze and cannot find more. It has long spikes with small red trumpet-shaped blooms on ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center