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

Visual differences among members of the Apiaceae
July 21, 2012 - What is the visual difference between queen anne's lace and hemlock and cowslip parsley? I live in Marin county, California and have often been confused as to which is what? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
May 13, 2013 - I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with red berries toxic to dogs
August 29, 2011 - I recently retrieved my poor doggy from the Vet. He had eaten a berry from an invasive-commonly seen brushy plant growing along my neighbors fence line. We try to keep our side clear-but the small lar...
view the full question and answer

Verifying safety of berries on a red mulberry tree in Austin
May 06, 2009 - I think I have a red mulberry tree on a newly purchased property. The property sits on Lake Austin and the tree is at least 40 feet tall with red fruits about an inch long that look like skinny black...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 04, 2010 - There's a wildflower growing on my patio its leaves look like the leaves of a lute leaf sage, it has a flower stalk with yellow flowers. The stalk is about a one foot high. What is the name of it?
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