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

Friday - October 23, 2009

From: Middleboro, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Need to identify orange tube-like plants in Middleboro, MA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Mr. Smarty Plants~ I live near some industrial companies, and lately I have been finding these orange plants, like tubes almost the top being brownish all over my backyard in the mulch. They have a white sack attached to the bottom, under the soil, they look like it may have seeds or something in it. From what I understand, there is a horrible smell emitted from the sack if broken. Could you please tell me if you have ever heard of anything like this, or what it might be? Is it poisonous? Thank you very much,


 Well, you didn't mention anything green so they may not be plants. Mr. Smarty Plants is going to guess that you may have a fungus, perhaps a Puffball. Click here to see if what you have in your yard looks like Microstoma protracta.

What we really need is a picture, so if you would go to our Plant Identification page and follow the directions for sending us photos of this interesting sounding organism, we could perhaps be of more help.





More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification from New York
August 21, 2014 - I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
view the full question and answer

New thorn/bush tree in Central Texas
September 23, 2013 - In Central Texas, over the last 5 years we have seen a new variety of thorn bush appear. It has very long thorns much like mesquite tree but thorns are every inch or so along the branches. The tree is...
view the full question and answer

Identification of perennial with dark red/purple flowers
November 17, 2011 - Need to identify a lovely perennial here in Norfolk, Virginia. It reseeds itself, spreads, and lingers into the late fall. It has rather thick, dark green, alternate spatulate leaves at the base wit...
view the full question and answer

Submitting photos to assist with an ID
April 17, 2013 - How do I submit images to assist with an ID?
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

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center