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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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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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Thursday - July 30, 2009

From: Nashville , TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Ferns
Title: Identity of a fern-like plant in Nashville TN.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


There is a fern like plant that is growing in partial sun in my front yard. It closes and opens with the sun. Its leaves are lacy and long; so far no flowers. I have pictures but not for this format. This is just one of many plants I'm trying to put names to in my new yard!


Mr. Smarty Plants has found that it is difficult if not impossible to identify plants from a written description. However, I can tell you that if your plant is a fern, it will not have flowers. This article from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will tell you a lot about ferns.

My suggestion is to have one of your friends who has a digital camera take a picture of the plant and send it to us.

Be sure to follow the directions on the Plant Identification page for taking and sending the images.  A picture is worth a thousand words.


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