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
3 ratings

Friday - July 25, 2008

From: ST. Joseph, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: What is gelatinous plant in a Missouri lake
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Q what is gel like plant floating in lake looks like a bag filled with green living plant and is see thru and has red. when touched feels like piece of fat but seems to be living in water. Missouri


Well, we have several possibilities here—it could be a plant (algae) or it could be insects eggs, fish eggs, amphibian (frog, toad, salamander) eggs, bryozoans, freshwater jellyfish, or freshwater sponges. Here is a site from the University of Maine with photos and information about all of these. Here are, also, an Algae Photo Library, a Fish Eggs Stock Photos and Images site, an Amphibian Egg Identification Page, Bryozoans site, Freshwater Jellyfish page, and Freshwater Sponges. Mr. Smarty Plants hopes you will be able to find your "critter" in one of these.



More Plant Identification Questions

Horsemint for Connecticut
July 01, 2015 - Will horsemint grow in Connecticut?
view the full question and answer

Identification of two Solanum species in Thorndale, Texas
November 01, 2010 - Hi. NE of Austin in the Taylor/Rockdale area with sandy loam I have two kinds of nightshade. One has the deep rhizomes and stickers and is relatively small and weedy. The other, very similar in app...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Verbesina occidentalis (Yellow crownbeard) in Burnet County TX
November 23, 2015 - Looked up (small) yellow crownbeard..yellow, no description or pic. Csn you tell me if this is what is in this pic? THX! Can't insert a pic to say y/n. 😟it's in Burnet, Co..SE of Marble Fal...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification request
September 15, 2007 - I took a trip to Arizona in 9/06. While out walking through public land I encountered a beautiful plant with very distinctive leaves, color of woody stems and flowers. I have scoured the USDA plant ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a pink-flowering bush with flowers like sweet peas
June 29, 2012 - I have found a pink flowering small tree / bush that has picky branches kind of looks like sweet pea flowers and the leaves kind of look like shumac. Growing near the thick woods of northern MI
view the full question and answer

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