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

Saturday - January 29, 2005

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on Virginia crownbeard
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently moved to the Hill Country and notice some "weeds" that seemed to into explode into ice formations when the temperature first fell below freezing. Can you tell me the name of this plant and a little bit about it?

ANSWER:

The common name is frost weed, ice weed, or Virginia crownbeard (Verbesina virginica). It is a member of the Family Asteraceae, the aster family. When the temperature goes below freezing its sap freezes and bursts through the stem to form beautiful ice sculptures. The first freeze of the winter gives the most spectacular sculptures. In the spring it has white blossoms. You can read about it in the Native Plants Database. Be sure to click on "Search Images" from the menu at the top on the frost weed page so that you can see pictures of the plant in the spring.

 

From the Image Gallery


Frostweed
Verbesina virginica

More Wildflowers Questions

Care of wildflower meadow dried out in drought
June 30, 2011 - Mr Smarty Plants, Our wildflower patch is completely dried up here in Lucas,Tx. What do you do with the field? Mow it? Trim it? Let it be? The patch is about 1/2 acre.. Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Steep, Sunny Slope in Iowa
April 28, 2013 - I am looking for plants native to Iowa for a steep, sunny slope or groundcover.
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
March 28, 2014 - Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy ...
view the full question and answer

First to Bloom in Western PA
October 02, 2010 - What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom in Butler, PA?
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