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
7 ratings

Thursday - June 14, 2007

From: Chester, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: General Botany
Title: Identification of first flower on Earth
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

When was the first on Earth and who find it and what was the name of the flower. Also what part of the Earth was if find?

ANSWER:

We think you're asking the name of the earth's first flowering plant. If so, the answer is no one really knows. There are different camps in the scientific community disputing the lineage of flowering plants and the place of fossil finds in that lineage.

Many believe that an ancestor of a plant still living in New Caledonia, Amborella trichopoda, was the world's first flowering plant, arising perhaps 140-million years or so ago.

Another candidate is a relative of the fossil plant, Archaefructus sinensis, discovered in China by the scientist Sun Ge.

The search for identity of the world's first angiosperm is a challenge that many botanists find irresistable. To keep the challenge interesting, the fossil record and new genetic discoveries have a way of continually changing our "current" way of thinking So the book on the mystery of the first flower almost certainly has chapters yet to be written.

 

More General Botany Questions

Seed for Kosteletzkya virginica, salt marsh mallow
January 13, 2009 - I have a nursery in North Carolina. We are looking for a reliable seed source for kosteletzkya virginica salt marsh mallow. We are www.campbellfamilynursery.com
view the full question and answer

How to determine the gender of wax myrtles from the WFC?
February 08, 2010 - Mr.Smarty Plants, have the wax myrtles that are up for sale at the Center's Spring Plant sale been sexed? I need a male plant. How can the sex be determined when the plant is young? Or can it?
view the full question and answer

Effect of epsom salts and gray water on plants
December 04, 2007 - We live in Phoenix where water is a precious commodity. We have decided to use as much of the gray water as we can for watering our garden, shrubs and trees. One of the suggestions we heard about w...
view the full question and answer

Use of the word annual
May 27, 2015 - Why is the word 'annual' used to describe plants with one grow season, when in all other cases it's used to describe things that reoccur year after year? i.e. Events, celebration, salary?
view the full question and answer

Experiment to detect presence of sugar in cellulose from Routt CO
January 28, 2013 - My teacher ask me to plan an experiment to detect the presence of sugar in cellulose. I know that cellulose are abundant at the stem, and sugar here is glucose. I wonder how to conduct this experiment...
view the full question and answer

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