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
1 rating

Monday - March 09, 2009

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Is Devilsclub related to Gunnera?
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Is Devil's Club related to Gunnera?


Gunnera is the only genus in the Family Gunneraceae (not native to North America) and Oplopanax horridus (devilsclub) is a member of the Family AraliacaceaeGunnera manicata and Gunnera tinctoria do look a lot like Devilsclub. However, if you scroll down to the Classification section on the USDA Plants Database page for Gunnera sp. and compare it to the Classification of Oplopanax sp., you will see that not only are they in different Families but they are also in different plant Orders.

Oplopanax horridus

Oplopanax horridus






More General Botany Questions

How to distinguish male and female grape vines in Gage OK.
August 19, 2012 - Are there male and female plants for wild grapes? If so, how do we tell the difference?
view the full question and answer

Every plant in Texas
December 01, 2008 - Do you know every plant in Texas? Alexis
view the full question and answer

Geographic determination of flower colors
August 30, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I'd like to find out if there are any correlation between geographic location and the statistic of flower(native) colors. Here in the Rockies, there seems to be a lot more ye...
view the full question and answer

Can plants in the same genus cross-pollinate?
March 27, 2009 - Can you cross-pollinate plants from the same genus?
view the full question and answer

Define monoculture from St. Croix Falls, WI
May 30, 2014 - What do you call a dense stand or carpet of one species of wildflower? Our botany professor told us but that was 40 years ago!
view the full question and answer

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