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

Saturday - November 15, 2008

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


Hi, I live in ne pa.i have always had a fasvorite wild flower with yellow flowers in the spring. the plant lasts all summer and fall til first frost. It gets small thin bean like seed pods that I save and respread..if you cut the leaf stem it has a dark orange juice that I have been told will cure warts? the leaves are thin and delicate and have several petals.it is my fav. plant but I cannot find out the name. it grows in shade/partial sun..Help!


Many of the plants in the Family Papaveraceae (poppy family) have yellowish or orangish sap.  Chelidonium majus (greater celandine), a European native that has naturalized in Illinois,has yellow flowers, bean-like seed pods and yellow-orange sap but its leaves don't sound like your description.  Plants for a Future, as well as Illinois Wildflowers, indicates that one of its medicinal usages is the removal of warts. Here are more photos.

Glaucium flavum, sea poppy, another European native that occurs in Pennsylvania, is also reported to have orange sap. Here are more photos.

If neither of these are your plant, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants Plant Identification page for instructions on submitting photos.


More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify a strange plant in my flowerbed
March 05, 2010 - I have a strange plant that I've called a weed in my flowerbed. It doesn't have many leaves but it has round white almost bulbs at the surface of the dirt. The "bulbs" look almost like a small oni...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with fragrant yellow flowers and thorns
June 06, 2013 - I'm not sure if this is a native plant. It's a tree, around 15" tall. The leaves are in bunches with 3-4 very sharp small spines at each bunch. Flowers are small, yellow, hang down from the leaf...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 04, 2010 - There is a wildflower growing in my pasture. It is low growing, triangle leaves, flowers are blue, five petals with what looks like a white flower in the middle. Gods blessings to all there.
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant, possibly giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
January 30, 2008 - I am trying to identify a weed that was prevalant where I grew up in North Central Texas. It grows in low spots and along creeks. It has woody stalks with short spines, grows 3'- 6' tall, the leaves...
view the full question and answer

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