En Español

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

Monday - October 15, 2007

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant, probably Datura.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We currently have in bloom a very leggy, about 2 foot high volunteer plant in Fredericksburg, TX that has a segmented stem, single large trumpet shaped flowers that stick straight up about 4 inches in a pale green pod and bloom into milky white flowers usually in the early evening, and that has a burr-covered seed pod with many individual small brown seeds inside. My friend called it a moon flower but no moon flower on the web even remotely looks like it. Any idea what plant this could be?

ANSWER:

This sounds like Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), or at least one of the species of Datura. Other possibilites are Datura inoxia (Indian apple) and Datura stramonium (jimson weed), but your description sound most like D. wrightii. It is a Texas native and has been found in Gillespie County. The other two are introduced species but have also been found in, or very near, Gillespie County. Please note that all species of Datura are toxic, if eaten, to humans and other animals.

If none of these is your plant, please send us photos and we will be happy to try to identify it. For instructions on how to submit photographs, please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and read about "Plant Identifcation" in the lower right corner.


Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015 - In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in New Jersey
December 29, 2009 - We are trying to find the name of a shrub, growing in Southern New Jersey. with red berries that grow in a group much like lilac or oak leaf hydrangea. It is "feathery", not dense. A neighbor dug u...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Round Rock, TX
March 31, 2011 - Although I do not believe the tree to be native I would like to identify it if possible. This tree was found in the Round Rock area. The blossom has five white (lite pink?) petals and a "spray" of...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 25, 2008 - Identification of woodland plant in a rual area ? we have bears britches and another plant simaler, but the leaves are flat and smooth, each leaf is on a seperate stalk and each plant has 3 stalk...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 18, 2010 - My daughter is working on a wildflower collection for her Biology class, we have found a flower, that, for appearances sake, is identified in books as Selfheal. This flower is taller than pictures we...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center