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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.

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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.

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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.

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Friday - September 07, 2007

From: Sacramento, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification, possibly Datura
Answered by: Joe Marcus


I have a wide green-leafed plant that has white flowers. This plant also has some thorny fruits in the shape of mines that float on the ocean. At the moment it is 2 feet high. I'm beginning to wonder if this is something I should discard.


It is very difficult to identify a plant from a written description. It may be surprising to know that there are any number of plants, native and non-native that fit the description of your plant. However, two related species that generally fit the description are the native Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), and the non-native Datura stramonium (jimsonweed). both occur in parts of California.

If neither of these species match your plant, you may submit digital images to us for possible identification. On the lower right corner of the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants home page, you will find instructions for sending images for identification.


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