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?

Share

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

Saturday - April 25, 2009

From: Buffalo, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks. Blooms in August and lasts through first frosts. Flowers are round w/ 2-inch petals around a tough green seed center.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants gives up.  What is it?  Just kidding!  The square stalk suggests a member of the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family).  If you select Lamiaceae (Mint Family) in our Native Plant Database and then NARROW THE SEARCH by selecting 'New York' from the Select State or Province and 'Yellow' from Bloom Characteristics, Color, you will find only three species, none of which matches your description:  Agastache nepetoides (yellow giant hyssop), Collinsonia canadensis (richweed) and Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm). Either Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't understand the description or your flower is not a species native to North America.  If you have photos of this flower and will send them to us, we will be very happy to try to identify it.  Please read the instructions for submitting photos on Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 25, 2008 - Identification of woodland plant in a rual area ? we have bears britches and another plant simaler, but the leaves are flat and smooth, each leaf is on a seperate stalk and each plant has 3 stalk...
view the full question and answer

Dodder, rootless, leafless, parisitic twining plants
May 29, 2006 - Hello, I have been studying wildflowers in California for many years. Yesterday I came across a surprise and I am thus far unable to identify it. As it is raining today, I cannot get a photo, but I...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 01, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Ever since we received this (much needed and wonderful) rain in Austin, my gardens and yard are being swamped with these tiny, green clover-like plants. I've never seen it ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for Beeville, TX
May 14, 2011 - Today in Beeville, TX I came across a plant that looks like a grass, but has a small black and white dotted flower. The flower looks like an orchid. Could you identify this or give me direction as t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Actaea rubra, red baneberry
August 06, 2008 - I came across a plant that has leaves similar to the astillbe shrub, stands about 3 feet high, and instead of a flower spire, has a chunk of bright red berries the size of medium-sized pearls atop its...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center