En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
June 13, 2012 - I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
April 04, 2009 - I found a purple berry-like plant in my back yard. It has no leaves, and it is about 5 or 6 inches tall. Do you know what it is called?
view the full question and answer

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

Submitting photos to assist with an ID
April 17, 2013 - How do I submit images to assist with an ID?
view the full question and answer

Book for identifying Texas plants by dichotomous key from Seguin TX
October 12, 2009 - What is the best book(s) for identifying Texas plants using a dichotomous key?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center