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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

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 - May 04, 2008

From: Gatesville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of low plant with like waterlily pad
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a low growing plant with leaves the shape of a waterlily pad, approx.1" growing all over my yard. I actually like them but would like to know the name of the plant. Thank you,


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like one of the pennyworts, either Hydrocotyle umbellata (manyflower marshpennywort) or Hydrocotyle verticillata var. verticillata (whorled marshpennywort). Here is a photo of H. verticillata var. verticillata and here are a few more photos of H. umbellata. These usually occur in places where the soil is moist. They can even grow in shallow water.

The other possibilities that come to Mr. SP's mind is Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot), Dichondra micrantha (Asian ponysfoot) or Dichondra recurvata (oakwoods ponysfoot).

If none of these look like your plant or you want us to confirm the identification, you can send us a photo. Look on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower right corner and follow the directions for submitting photos under "Plant Identification".

Hydrocotyle umbellata

Dichondra carolinensis

Dichondra micrantha

Dichondra recurvata



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