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

Monday - June 23, 2008

From: Wallingford, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi, I live in southeastern PA, and want to identify a wildflower . It about 36" tall, with a showy red spiked flower at the top, appox. 2" in diameter. Thanks, Robin


Here are three possibilities for your flower: 

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. circumvagum (fireweed)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

If one of these is not your flower and you have a photo of it, please send it to us and we will do our very best to  identify it.   Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to find instructions under "Plant Identification" for submitting photos.

Lobelia cardinalis

Chamerion angustifolium ssp. circumvagum

Monarda didyma




More Plant Identification Questions

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
August 21, 2011 - We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flower...
view the full question and answer

Spriranthes sp. blooming on rocky hilltop
November 13, 2015 - I am not sure if my previous question went thru, so I am submitting it again. How unusual is it to find a few blooming specimens of Spiranthes sp. on a rocky hilltop west of Loop 360 near Bee Caves R...
view the full question and answer

Are Brown-eyed susans and Black-eyed susans the same species?
December 02, 2014 - Are Brown eyed Susans the same as the Black-eyed Susan? I've read that they are both common names for the same plant, but the flower looks slightly different in different regions. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 06, 2011 - I'm trying to figure out the name of a plant/shrub purchased a couple years ago. It was a shrub (about medium sized) with yellow blooms that smelled like lemon. I don't think it was lemon balm or le...
view the full question and answer

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