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
1 rating

Sunday - December 18, 2005

From: Saint Louis, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Consequences of leaving geranium in dark room
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What would happen to a geranium plant that was left to grow in a dark room for many days?

ANSWER:

Light is necessary for photosynthesis, the process by which the plant makes its food. If a geranium plant (or any other green plant) is grown in the dark, it will become tall and spindly and turn pale and yellow. This phenomenon is called etiolation. The plant will be putting its energy into lengthening to try to find light so that it can photosynthesize and putting very little energy into making chlorophyll; thus, it grows tall and loses its green color. Left in the dark long enough, it will die because it cannot photosynthesize to produce energy for cell division and growth.
 

More General Botany Questions

Blooms as far as the eye can see
March 06, 2008 - Why are some wildflowers capable of putting on spectacular sweeps of blooms "for as far as the eye can see" such as Indian paintbrush at Vail Pass in Colorado, or bluebonnets in the Texas hill count...
view the full question and answer

Are leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis toothed from Austin
December 22, 2013 - Are the leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow, smooth or toothed? The NPIN descrip says willow-like. Most willows have toothed leaf margins. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Correct spelling of Passiflora caerulea
August 07, 2007 - What is correct, passiflora coerulea or caerulea ?
view the full question and answer

Native New Jersey plants to remove iron water from Lawrenceville NJ
October 20, 2012 - Are there any native New Jersey plants that can remove iron water
view the full question and answer

Least common flower color
June 14, 2008 - What is the least common flower color in the world?
view the full question and answer

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