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

Plant Identification from Cold Lake AB
August 03, 2012 - How can I send a picture for you to help me identify a plant that grows in my garden that no one can seem to identify? I have taken a picture of it but can't seem to be able to attach it to this que...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Americas national plant
August 07, 2005 - What is America's national plant? (please answer this a.s.a.p because i can't figure it out and it's for homework)
view the full question and answer

Identity of maroon flower taking over bluebonnets
April 14, 2008 - there is a maroon colored flowering weed at my ranch in Oakwood Texas. It is taking over the bluebonnets and indian paint brushes. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it.
view the full question and answer

Vine with 5 pointed deep lobed leaves and small white flowers
June 21, 2015 - I recently happened upon a very peculiar vine. It has 5 pointed very deep lobed leaves, that are semi hairy on both the top and bottom with small white flowers that emerge from the same part of the st...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrubs in Austin neighborhood
September 30, 2013 - I have run across two beautiful bushes in our neighborhood. They have flowering branches that daisy-chain out like a fountain. No one can tell me what they are. They are located in front and on the ...
view the full question and answer

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