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

Tuesday - July 31, 2007

From: Searsmont, ME
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identificaation of volunteer plant in Maine
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have a volunteer in my garden in Maine that I have been unable to identify. It is a perennial that grows in full sun. It has formed a thick mat of plants whose leaves are about and its leaves are dark green, 1.5 inches long with occasional white streaks. It doesn't get any higher than 2.5 inches. This year for the first time it has produced a tiny (.5") white flower. The plant showed up more than ten years ago. The flower appears to have four petals, though it may be two petals split and curving up and down from the center. Can you help me identify it?


Mr. Smarty Plants loves identifying mystery plants, but it is almost impossible to do from a description alone. If you could send us a photograph or two, we will do our very best to tell you what it is. Here are some guidelines for submitting photographs for plant identification:


1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.

2. Take several images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.

3. Save images in JPEG format, not more than 640 x 480 pixels in size, with resolution set at 300 pixels per inch.

4. Send email with images attached to id@smartyplants.org. Put Plant Identification Request in the subject line of your email.

You can also read these instructions on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page.


More Plant Identification Questions

Differentiation between Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa
April 25, 2006 - How do I differentiate Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Tentative identification of Echinacea purpurea
June 29, 2007 - We have a garden plant that is 18 inches high with a purple coned shaped flower sticking straight into the air. Can someone help us identify it?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 26, 2011 - I have found a small tree like plant that is small and the stem or trunk was thin and the leaves look like fern leaves. I also found a larger one it was thicker and closer to the ground the leaves wer...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow fruit with many fingers
December 24, 2012 - This is a yellow lemon smelling fruit with many fingers. Yellow in color. Looks like an octopus.
view the full question and answer

Identification of grasses for grazing from La Luz NM
November 05, 2012 - I live in southern New Mexico. I have pictures of a few types of grass that I can't find anyone to help me identify with a name for livestock food. Can you help me with it? If so I can send the pi...
view the full question and answer

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