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
1 rating

Friday - May 29, 2009

From: Braintree, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have a plant that I always thought was poison ivy. This spring however I saw an unusual flower on several of these plants. Three leaves and the flower almost looks like a wilted calla lily, but is a greenish color. When you lift up the wilted over part, there is a small green oval inside. Do you have any idea what this could be? It grows in the shade along with briars and Virginia Creeper in the wooded area behind my house.


This sounds intriguing and Mr. Smarty Plants loves mysterious plants to identify. This sounds a lot like Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)? If this is not your plant, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to find instructions for submitting photos.

Arisaema triphyllum

Arisaema triphyllum

Arisaema triphyllum

Arisaema triphyllum



More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
May 01, 2009 - Curious about the identification of the foxglove-looking plants flowering along the railroad tracks that parallel Lancaster in Handley. Some are white while others are purple. Leaves are about 2-3 inc...
view the full question and answer

Thermopsis caroliniana not in database from Philadelphia
September 16, 2009 - Thermopsis caroliniana is not in your plant database. What is the reason for that? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - 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.
view the full question and answer

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

Visual difference between Yarrow and Queen Anne's lace in Austin, TX?
May 16, 2011 - What is different, visually, between yarrow and Queen Anne's lace?
view the full question and answer

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