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?

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
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
2 ratings

Thursday - October 29, 2009

From: Pensacola, FL
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: ID of plant that looks like a pine cone?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a plant that i was told it was a Pine Cone plant. When it blooms it looks just like a pine cone. but i can't fine anything on it.

ANSWER:

With few exceptions, Mr. Smarty Plants has to ask his patrons to submit plant ID requests along with digital images to Plant Identification at Ask Mr. Smarty Plants.  It is a very rare occasion that he can identify a plant based on a written description alone.  Happily, this may be one of those rare ocassions!

Very few plants look "just like a pine cone."  In fact, we can think of only one in Florida that really fits that description well, Conopholis americana (American cancer-root).  Also known as Squawroot or Bear Corn, this native species can be found in woodlands throughout eastern North America.  Like many other members of its family, Orobanchaceae, Conopholis americana has no chlorophyll.  Thus, it has no green color and has no capacity to make its own food.  It thrives by parasitizing the roots of oak trees.

Here are links with more information from Wikipedia, The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, Vanderbilt Bioimages, and the Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Identity of the mass fields of yellow flowers in North Texas
March 23, 2012 - Are the mass fields of yellow flowers we are seeing in north Texas now likely to be Indian Mustard (brassica juncea) or Charlock (brassica kaber or sinapis arvensis)? We are teaching a wildflower ide...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 31, 2009 - I need to identify a plant with broad leaves from a central base, no stalk, it also has a large inverted pinecone shaped central pod purplish in color. It is in heavy shade. Approx 2 ft high. Thank yo...
view the full question and answer

Native North American bulbs
August 19, 2011 - I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
view the full question and answer

Identification of fleshy green lobes on the ground
January 08, 2010 - I have been hiking in the Austin area and it is January: Noticing dark green, rubbery, lobe shaped sheets on the ground. Less then 2". Usually near low growing fuzzy moss clumps. There are many of...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center