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 - October 21, 2007

From: Waco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identifying plant
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What plant is usually found growing in low-lying freshwater marshy places with a single, straight-stemmed plant that grows to about one-to-two feet in height. The branches and leaves are sparse with prickly spines from the ground upwards. The blooms are light blue star-shaped flowers. The root is about one-fourth the height of the plant and is nearly white in color, used in processing a cough remedy.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plants; however, doing so from a description is very difficult. Hopefully, if we have a picture and perhaps the locality of the plant, we can figure it out. For instructions on how to submit photographs, please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and read about "Plant Identification" in the lower right corner.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 01, 2010 - I have a grandchild that said the seed pod on a plant that looks like a clover is edible. It has clover like leaves and a little yellow flower. I did taste it and it kind of taste like a pickle. Th...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
August 29, 2011 - Hi- I am currently am AP Biology student and have two plants left to identify that I found at a lily pool in Chicago. Can you help me identify them? One I believe is a fern, the other a flower. Th...
view the full question and answer

Identification of purple wildflower shaped like a bottle rocket
June 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, the other day while driving north on 281 from San Antonio I noticed a purple wildflower that was shaped sort of like a bottle rocket, seemed to have leaves similar to verbena and ...
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

Identification of a shrub in San Marcos, TX
May 20, 2013 - On a walk in Austin's Barton Creek greenbelt, a Treefolks volunteer identified a shrub that I also have on my property in San Marcos as blue candalia. However I can't find a plant by that name via w...
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