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?


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

Friday - April 22, 2005

From: cincinnati, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Keys for identification of native plants in Ohio
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Do you know of any good web sites that provide keys for the identification of native plants? I'm conducting a wetland plant inventory in southwestern Ohio.


North Carolina State University has a web site Wetland Plant Identification with dichotomous keys for woody vines, parallel-veined plants, gymnosperms, and trees and shrubs. The web page also offers the option to search by plant characterisitics such as leaf arrangement, leaf structure, axillary bud type, etc.

From the Univeristy of Wisconsin Herbarium at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity there is a web page, Wetland Plants of Wisconsin, with pictures of leaves, flowers, fruiting heads and more for approximately 110 common wetland species.

From Washington State Department of Ecology there is An On-Line Version of an Aquatic Plant Identification Manual for Washington's Freshwater Plants.

There is a sample of an interactive software program to purchase for PCs using Windows 95 or higher to help in identifying 1,000 Weeds of North America

The University of Florida has a web page Aquatic and Wetland Plants and Invasive Plants with photographs and descriptions that can be searched by scientific name, common name or plant type category (grasses, ferns, sedges, rushes, etc.).

Virginia Tech has a Weed Identification Guide with a Grass Weed Identification Key.

Recommended available print sources are Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin from the Army Core of Engineers, A Great Lakes Wetland Flora for a field guide to vascular plants of the wetlands of the Upper Midwest, and Aquatic Plant Identification Cards from the University of Florida.

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of pink flower photographed at the Wildflower Center
January 08, 2013 - Last August I took a photo at the Wildflower Center and now I'm trying to identify it. The flower has many pink petals that either stick straight out or downward and the center has pink frills edging...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 17, 2009 - I am trying to identify a plant in Crocket County Texas. It looks similar to a small thistle. It has purple thorny bulbs on it, the stem and leaves also are thorny.
view the full question and answer

Identification of small plant
May 31, 2011 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2007 - We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center