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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Saturday - November 15, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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!

ANSWER:

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.

 

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