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

Tuesday - July 07, 2009

From: Woodbury, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant ID in Woodbury TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Please help identify this unusual plant. I am in Middle TN, Cannon County. This plant comes up every year and looks like something tropical. It has huge leaves about 16 + inches wide. and grows about 8+ ft high. (it is not an elephant ear, I am familiar with many tropical plants as I am from South FL) It is in full sun, but really looks out of place when the typical trees around are, oak, boxwood, cedar, etc. Any help in identifying this would be appreciated.


Even with the best descriptions, it is difficult to identify plants without seeing them. Go to our Plant Identification site and follow the instructions for submitting a photograph and we will try to ascertain what your mystery plant is. It may be a non-native that has escaped cultivation from a garden somewhere in the area, and since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care, preservation and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, we may still not be able to come up with a positive identification. 


More Plant Identification Questions

Need help identifying a plant with lupine-like leaves in La Grange Park, IL
May 20, 2010 - I encountered a plant on a level area just above a creek bed (moist soil, sun to partial sun) at one of the three largest grasslands in Illinois. The specific site looked like it may have been a burn ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with fuschia berries in Pennsylvania
October 26, 2008 - Northeastern Pennsylvania tree with fuschia berries in autumn. Found one in woods,never saw one before.
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2008 - I was just in Alabama this weekend and all alongside the road-side were these georgeous pink flowers. I finally stopped to pick one and thet are even prettier up close! The stem is smooth and leafle...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
November 02, 2010 - Near Abilene State Park, a plant's leaves turn purple and it seems to have a pineapple looking growth. We call it the purple pineapple?
view the full question and answer

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