En Español

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

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 - 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


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


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.


More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of ball-shaped purple flower in Connecticut
July 13, 2015 - I am trying to identify a ball shaped purple/light purple flower with opposite leaves that look fern like. It has been in bloom since late May or early June. I have found it growing with what appear...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 26, 2009 - I came back from vacation to find a wild herb growing in my back yard. It looks similar to dill, cilantro, or fennel; which makes me think it's in the umbrelliferae family, but it's not a large plan...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 04, 2010 - Please identify this tree: has leaves like a catalpa, blue/lavender flowers on a long flower spike at the end of the limb, green fruit/seed about the size of a pecan it is fuzzy like a peach with a h...
view the full question and answer

Information about Rose Twisted-Stalk
July 03, 2012 - Dear Mr.(?) Smarty Plants- I LOVE your name! I cannot find the plant I'm looking to identify in your collection. I saw it in a wildflower book as: Rose Twisted-Stalk. Sprin...
view the full question and answer

Identification of red lily-like blossom in Austin, TX
September 21, 2012 - Rain at last in Austin! The rain lilies are up, but wait, what on earth is this? Lily like, 6 petals, but a cluster of 6 stalks w/blood red blooms slightly larger than our rain lilies - Off under a ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center