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?


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 - 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



More Plant Identification Questions

Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
November 30, 2009 - I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant in Menard TX
April 16, 2010 - We recently purchased 40 acres in Menard Texas on the San Saba River. There is a plant that looks like a fern that is all over the river bottom. It looks like the foliage on a carrot and they are al...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 09, 2009 - green stemmed,whorled leaf,compound leaf, ovate shaped, hairy stemmed thing is fastly taking over my sandy rocked based soil cactus garden. what could it be? i bought my garden in florida
view the full question and answer

Identification of a flower, perhaps a yarrow
April 27, 2008 - There is a a flower blooming now on the roadside and in fields here in Waco. It really looks like Yarrow, but I don't want to harvest any and make a mistake. Can I send a pic to you guys and see if...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center