Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant with stalk of purple berries
August 27, 2008 - I have a plant that just grows.large hollow purple stalk, purple berries in long clusters , grows very tall any thoughts.. it grows like a weed
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, Chinese Lantern
September 06, 2007 - I have a plant growing along my fenceline that I am unsure of what it is. Some ppl have said it is a rare Chinese Lantern plant. I looked that up and it doesn't match. The plant right now sits about ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Kentucky
January 14, 2012 - I live in Laurel CO, KY. I am trying to identify a shrub/tree. The leaves are green and may turn reddish orange. There are huge pods of red berries hanging.
view the full question and answer

Native sedges for Texas
March 07, 2007 - What can you tell me about Texas Blue Sedge? What its true name and culture requirements?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a trillium in New Jersey
June 23, 2011 - I have several Trillium grown from one seed source. The plant looks like Trillium cuneatum, but unlike that plant, the stems of these plants -- which seed freely in my Northwest New Jersey garden -- l...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.