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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 17, 2009

From: Broussard, LA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am trying to identify a plant in Crocket County Texas. It looks similar to a small thistle. It has purple thorny bulbs on it, the stem and leaves also are thorny.


Mr Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like one of the Eryngos, probably Eryngium leavenworthii (Leavenworth's eryngo).  The USDA Plants Database shows it occurring in Crocket County.  If this isn't the plant you saw and you have a photo or two of it, please send them to us and we will do our very best to identify your plant.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos for identification.


Eryngium leavenworthii

Eryngium leavenworthii

Eryngium leavenworthii




More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification for Florida
July 10, 2011 - I am looking for the name of a plant that has long stalks and wispy long leaves with large round purple flowers on the end.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 15, 2011 - I don't know where this plant is from! I hope you can still help! I was given a plant,about 8in tall,stem and limbs are yellow it doesn't grow leaves it just has thorns do you have any idea what it ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 25, 2013 - Found a plant with tiny, white, fragrant flowers on spires by a lake near Fredericksburg, TX. Could you possibly identify it?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 07, 2008 - I have a green bush that us come up in the old garden spot it has littl green balls all over it with seeds like in them, what could it be? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Existence of plant named
May 30, 2006 - My mother's middle name is Orabelle - "beautiful seacoast." Some variations are "Orabel" and "Ord." Is there a plant that is so named and where might I be able to purchase it? I live in Norf...
view the full question and answer

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