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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.


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