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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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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.





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