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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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Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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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.

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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.

 
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Tuesday - July 14, 2009

From: Lake Odessa, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of a plant with yellow flowers in Michigan.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Would you know what this perennial is? The plant has a reddish colored stem, the leaves are long and narrow, approx 31/2 inches long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. The buds are long approx 2 inches, and have red dots on them. This plant blooms a beautiful bright yellow flower approx 3 inches across. The flower looks somewhat like a poppy but the rest of the plant does not. I got this on a clearence at a green house and after I got it home I noticed it had no tag. Would like to know the name and where best to plant it. Thank you for your help. Carol

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants has learned over the years that is very difficult, virtually impossibble even, to identify a plant from a written description such as this. My suggestion is to go to  Plant Identification on the "Ask Mr. Smarty Plants" page and follow the directions for taking and sending us a photo of your plant. Once we have a photo, a name will be easier to find.

Another approach is to go to the Native Plants Database page and scroll down to the Combination Search box. Fill in the the spaces with the information that you have about your plant. For instance, you can fill in the state, the habit, you know its a perennial, fill in "full sun" under Light Requirement, put "moist" for Soil Moisture,  select the appropriate Bloom Characteristics, and click "submit your combination search". You will get a list  of Native Plants in Michigan that fit those characteristics. Click the name of each plant, and its NPIN page will come up that contains  characteristics of the plant as well as photos. By changing criteria such as light requirement and soil moisture you  can generate several lists. Compare the photos with your plant.

 

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