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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 16, 2009

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


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.


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



More Plant Identification Questions

Identiication of a flower in Valentine's Day Bouquet
March 05, 2015 - I bought a Valentine's Day bouquet for my wife and one of the flowers just won't quit (with some TLC, the lillies lasted 10 days). May I send a photo of the flower in question? I'd love to grow i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of mystery tree in Huntington Beach, CA
March 25, 2015 - Have a "tree" that has grown from about 18" tall to about 10' tall in a little over a years time. It has a central trunk that is about 3/4" in diameter at it's largest. It has short thin branch...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 12, 2009 - I am looking for the name of plant my Grandma used to own. She always referred to it as a spider plant. The green part of the plant looked very similar to a spider plant but growing around the base of...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
June 19, 2012 - We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant at 6500 ft. in Boulder UT
September 19, 2009 - Located at 6,500 feet in Boulder, Utah..not Colorado in sandy soil with irrigation, we have discovered a deep green leafy (unfurls from the center) plant with six lobes on each side of the leaf stem. ...
view the full question and answer

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