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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - April 16, 2009

From: Hockley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like  Argemone albiflora ssp. texana (bluestem pricklypoppy) or possibly another prickly poppy, Argemone polyanthemos (crested pricklypoppy).  Both occur in Harris County—the foliage of A. polyanthemos (crested pricklypoppy) is greener than A. albiflora ssp. texana (bluestem prickly poppy). There is still another white pricklypoppy, Argemone aurantiaca (Texas pricklypoppy), but its natural distribution is well to the west of Harris County.

 


Argemone albiflora ssp. texana

Argemone albiflora ssp. texana

Argemone polyanthemos

Argemone aurantiaca

 

 

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