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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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Tuesday - June 09, 2009

From: chehalis, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of a plant with opposite leaves in Washington
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


My friend just bought a house and in the front yard are some bushes. I don't have a picture, but they are only 1-2 feet tall now. They have these unusual stems, throughout the entire bush. They are very "woody" with square "sails" on them. There are two "sails" opposite of each other on the stem, and then above those, there are two more opposite of each other, but 180 degrees from the ones below them and above them. Tiny white flowers. Hope you can help.


Identifying a plant from just a description is difficult if not impossible. The "square sails" I assume are leaves that are arranged oppositely along the stem and they change their orientation 90 degrees at each node. Since "square" is not a term that is usually attributed to leaf shapes,  I'm afraid that i can't identify this plant.

I'm going to suggest that you to visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants  Plant Identification page to read instructions for taking and submitting photos of your plant that would aid us in identifying your plant.



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