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

Sunday - September 30, 2007

From: Prescott, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identifcation and wants to know about weeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My son planted some seeds in pots before he left and I don't know if I am watering weeds/plants??? One plant has green & red (lateral) striped stalks with something on the end that to me from Texas looks likes cacaburrs...(please forgive spelling). I may contact you later for the others but this bothers me now. Also, true/false, a weed is easy to uproot (pulling)? I tugged a little and got nothing.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry, but identifying a plant by description alone is almost impossible to do. If you would like to send a photo, though, he will do his very best to tell you what you have. You can find instructions for submitting photos on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower right corner under "Plant Identification".

Now, as for weeds, one person's weed may be another person's wildflower. For instance, some people think Cirsium texanum (Texas thistle) is a beautiful wildflower and others consider it a noxious weed. The best definition for a weed that I know is: "A weed is a plant growing somewhere you don't want it to grow." Since weeds can be any sort of plant, they aren't necessarily easy to pull up—it would depend on their size, what kind of roots they have, the type of soil the plant is in and the moisture content of the soil.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Flower with spike of yellow flowers with hairy purple filaments
July 03, 2012 - Fuzzy purple stamens! I can't find this plant identified anywhere. Blooms abt 1" or a little more across. 5 yellow petals, 5 sepals, & 5 stamens with yellow anthers, & the filaments are covered wi...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of Texas bullnettle (Cnidoscolus texanus)
September 15, 2009 - I'm trying to identify a small thorny plant that I found growing on our (previously undeveloped) dry lot in Hutto, Central Texas. It has small white flowers and green thorny bulbs. The leaves and st...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that smells like oranges in Alpine, TX
August 16, 2012 - There are patches of flat bushy like plants in lawn, smells like orange. Areas may be 10" and spreading, but when pulled has small root. How can I get rid of this plant and what is it?
view the full question and answer

Identifying a plant/weed blooming in Feb. in Texas
February 24, 2010 - Can you help me identify a flowering plant I have found growing in my yard? It is a tiny green plant most months of the year, with very tiny deep to pastel blue flowers on it in early spring ( it is i...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

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