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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.
 

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