Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

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

QUESTION:

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,

ANSWER:

 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

Identity of a plant in SE Georgia
May 06, 2009 - Identity of a plant- This plant is growing wild in SE GA, but I have never seen it before until this year. The plant has a stolon "root" system it forms an upright stem and a cluster of flowers begi...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Arkansas
October 29, 2014 - Harrison, Ark I borrowed pix, hope they can be seen. Fast growing, 5' popped up in area- it screams abutilon to me, but the flower doesnt. Waited til Sept to bloom. Nowhere for pic. Green/ yellow tub...
view the full question and answer

Assistance in photographing Turnera diffusa in Rio Grande Valley
March 20, 2006 - Do you know where I can photograph a specimen of Turnera diffusa Willd. ex J.A. Schultes var. aphrodisiaca? I'll be in Texas in May and it is on my list to try and locate. I understand it grows in ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple flower with flowers similar to witch hazel
August 16, 2012 - Found along woods roads. Purple flower about 1 - 2 ft. in height. Central stem rises from a ground level leaf whorl of five leaves from 4 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches at their widest point. C...
view the full question and answer

Sombrerito Mexicano
May 16, 2010 - Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.