En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
August 21, 2013 - A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 24, 2010 - Purchased foliage plant - no one knows its name. Leaves (stems) are bright green and 10" tall. Has "babies" like a spider plant but leaves (stems) are wider and thicker. Has a "rib" to them in...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant that looks like green onions
April 06, 2013 - I have what looks like green onions growing in my lawn. They have small white flowers. Are they edible?
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 growth on possible oak tree
March 24, 2008 - We have photographed a very unusual bloom or growth on a tree we suspect may be an oak, and would like to submit photos of the bloom, bark, and (leafless) tree to someone for identification. My wild ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center