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?


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

Sunday - June 01, 2008

From: Cupar, Scotland
Region: Other
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Mystery plant in Scotland
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi I have a plant which has self seeded - I think from a packet of mixed salad leaves planted last year. The leaves are green turning to purple, about eight inches long and a bit like a savoy cabbage but open and separate and more spear shaped. A brief 'taste and spit out' suggests that it is possibly a type of cabbage. I'm sure it's edible as it doesn't resemble any local weeds. How do I identify it? I could e-mail a photo but you don't appear to have that option. By the way, I live in Scotland. Any ideas? Hope you can help.


It would be a little risky for us to speculate on your plant without a picture. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center concentrates its expertise and research on plants native to North America. However, we have people on the Mr. Smarty Plants team that delight in identifying plants, regardless of their native status. Go to the Mr. Smarty Plants page on this website, and in the lower right hand corner, under "Plant Identification" you will find full instructions for e-mailing a picture to us. We look forward to seeing it.

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of plant along Austin's Hike 'n' Bike Trail
March 28, 2011 - Can you identify the tall (5-6 feet) lanky woody shrub which is growing on the south side of the Hike'n'Bike Trail in Austin? It is in a small garden, adopted by Maggie and Karl Key, near the new p...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Identity of mint impersonator in California
May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Prairie Village KS
August 25, 2012 - My friend has identified this plant as a Horseweed. It is 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Has a thick, fuzzy single stem. Linear leaves, about 3/4 inch across and 3 or 4 inches long with one or two notches on e...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2008 - I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center