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

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

From: Seminole, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Herb used in treating stomachache
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Fl my father had an herb or plant that he pronounced kee-low and I always thought it was spelled kilo. He would take it and pick it, dry it out and then make tea with it. My brother tells me he believes it was from Puerto Rico but not certain. It would grow approx. 6 inches and it was green and leafy. He would get it to us for a stomach ache. This is all the info I have for it so if you know what it might be I'd appreciate it. Thanks, Sarah

ANSWER:

Well, dang, Mr. Smarty Plants hates to admit defeat, but we can't find it. We tried Googling on several spellings of the word, and on "kelo herb" we got a number of references but they all were for a scar-healing gel, sold by herbal pharmacists, and no mention of the plant from which they came. We tried searching on our Native Plant Database for herbaceous plants native to Florida (all 903 of them) and scanning through found nothing that sounded like that. Since our database includes only plants native to North America, we tried googling "native plants of Puerto Rico." That took us to the USDA Plants Database, which does include Puerto Rico, but a search on "kelo" in that produced some plants that had, somewhere in one of the Latin names for a plant, the letters "K-E-L-O".

Do you still have the plant growing in your area? Possibly if you could send us a picture, one of our plant ID experts could figure out what it is. Go to the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page, and look in the lower right hand corner of the page under "Plant Identification", which will give you instructions for sending pictures.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

How to tell the difference between native and non-native thistles
March 13, 2013 - It's thistle time already. There are many plants in the aster family with thistle in their common name. Are "real" thistles only those in the genus Cirsium, or are there others as well? We are tryi...
view the full question and answer

Identifcation of four o clock-like flower
August 25, 2007 - I've run across a flower I cannot find any information on. I saw it in West Virginia. I know that a pix might be needed to identify, but, since this is somewhat unusual, I thought possibly you might...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
July 02, 2012 - I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
view the full question and answer

Proper spacing for planting yuccas
January 10, 2009 - We bought some yuccas and need to know how far apart to plant them
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center