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

Tuesday - July 29, 2008

From: St. Augustine, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


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 arms. They grow quite high and have bulbs for roots. Also, are those purple flowers that some call weeds which are also native to St. Augustine called Society Garlic? Thank you so much!


The purple one could be Allium canadense (meadow garlic) or one of its varieties, such as Allium canadense var. mobilense (meadow garlic). These are native to Florida. It could also well be Tulbaghia violacea (society garlic), a native of South Africa often used as a landscape plant. I'm afraid you've stumped Mr. SP with the other one. If you will send us photos, however, we would be very happy to try to identify both your mystery plants. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read the instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos.


Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense

Allium canadense



More Plant Identification Questions

Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014 - I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 15, 2012 - My daughter took the attached picture of a plant growing along a road in Austin, TX. I've searched the database and several wildflower books and can't find the flower. Can you identify it? Thanks fo...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Cold Lake AB
August 03, 2012 - How can I send a picture for you to help me identify a plant that grows in my garden that no one can seem to identify? I have taken a picture of it but can't seem to be able to attach it to this que...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, Chinese Lantern
September 06, 2007 - I have a plant growing along my fenceline that I am unsure of what it is. Some ppl have said it is a rare Chinese Lantern plant. I looked that up and it doesn't match. The plant right now sits about ...
view the full question and answer

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