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
1 rating

Saturday - September 29, 2007

From: Florence, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Frostweed under oaks
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our 5 acre property is located about 12 miles West of Salado on FM 2843. Under our beautiful Live Oak trees reside some plants that are just coming into bloom (9/29/07). They are about 3-4 ft high with very large leaves. The blooms are clusters of small white flowers, ball-shaped. Just wondered what these plants are called.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like Verbesina virginica (frostweed or white crownbeard). Certainly, they are blooming all around the Austin area. The name frostweed (also, sometimes called ice plant) comes from the fact that at the first frost the sap freezes and bursts out of the stem forming a beautiful icy Christmas-candy like structure around the stem. Keep your eyes on these plants this winter and be sure you check them out at the first freezing temperatures.

If this isn't what you are seeing, you can send us a photo and Mr. SP will do his best to identify your plant. Please see instructions for submitting photos on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower right corner under "Plant Identification".


Verbesina virginica

Verbesina virginica

Verbesina virginica

Verbesina virginica

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Wildflower blooming in Austin in mid-March from Laceys Spring AL
February 27, 2013 - Hi I will be at and around the center the weekend of March 9 & 10 to exhibit in the Art and Artisan's Festival and plan to stay a few extra days to "wildflower" either before or after. What is you...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets emerging early after cool, wet spring
August 20, 2007 - Typically I see bluebonnet seedlings begin to erupt in the early Fall. But this year, I began to see seedlings almost immediately after my crop went to seed. In fact, it is now early August and I ha...
view the full question and answer

Excessive nitrogen inhibiting coreopsis blooms
September 28, 2006 - I planted coreopsis in the summer last year and they bloomed profusely nonstop from June 2005 to April 2006. However, this past summer, continuing to present time, my coreopsis have not bloomed at a...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 28, 2005 - I am flying a photographer in on April 7, 2005, for a special art project on Bluebonnets. We have 3 days set aside for the shot. Where are THE best places to capture Bluebonnets in the wild?
view the full question and answer

Green thread-Thelesperman filifolium
May 13, 2007 - Looking for information on a wild flower called green thread. Can you tell us the actual name or any information about this flower.
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