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

Friday - May 30, 2008

From: Lometa, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Are Yucca and Spanish dagger the same?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have Yucca, and we have Spanish Dagger. We don't think they are the same thing. Are they?

ANSWER:

There are two plants in our Native Plant Database with the common name Spanish dagger:  Yucca treculeana (Spanish dagger) and Yucca aloifolia (Spanish dagger)—with photos from Auburn University Horticulture Department. I don't know which of these you have; but, as you can see, they both have the same genus name, Yucca; but different species names, aloifolia and treculeana. Additionally, there are lots of other species in the Genus Yucca and even some plants that have "yucca" as part of their common names, but are not in the Genus Yucca. I don't know which Yucca you have, probably Yucca arkansana (Arkansas yucca) or Yucca pallida (twistleaf yucca) where you live. Many plants that share common names are really different species. This is why botanists use the scientific names when referring to plants so that everyone knows exactly which plant they mean. So, the answer to your question is that both your plants are in the Genus Yucca and closely related, but are not exactly the same thing since they are different species.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
July 29, 2008 - Greetings, Sir/Madam! What is the name of that weed that grows ubiquitously in St. Augustine, Fl (literally overnight when it rains) and has two skinny "arms", with little greenish beads on the arm...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 23, 2008 - Hi from Baton Rouge, I was out in Livingston Parish a week ago and saw a small tree that I had never seen before. I can't paste a picture here. It's sort of like an Osage Orange but the flowers a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of spiny plant in Yucca Mesa, CA
March 02, 2011 - I have a very prickly bush on my property near Yucca Mesa, CA, (high desert). 2 to 3 feet high. Branches mostly starting from the center near ground. Lots of 1 to 2 inch spines on branches. Dormant in...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant at 6500 ft. in Boulder UT
September 19, 2009 - Located at 6,500 feet in Boulder, Utah..not Colorado in sandy soil with irrigation, we have discovered a deep green leafy (unfurls from the center) plant with six lobes on each side of the leaf stem. ...
view the full question and answer

Ivy with holes in its leaves
May 31, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, Please help me, I was given an ivy (origin unknown). It is peculiar. It has holes in the leaves, not from bugs or from bacteria, etc. It is natural, the holes develop in some type...
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